WHERE GRACE RESIDES, THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.“ Isaiah 53:6 (ESV)
The shepherds of old had a shelter or fortress made of stone and rimmed with thorns to keep the wild beasts out at night. They would guard the entrance so the sheep would stay safe. Jesus said in John 10:11 “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” He provides for us a safe place, a refuge, a sanctuary from harm. God’s Word declares “For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.” Psalm 61:3 says “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:1-2).
Sometimes it is hard for us to trust God because we are waiting for Him to get angry, be disappointed, and turn His face from us. We are aware of our sins and failures and we are ashamed and condemned. But “the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” God took our sins from us and placed them on Jesus, the Good Shepherd to save us. John 3:17 says clearly “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Romans 8:1 clearly addresses our guilt by affirming that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” We know that grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Let’s start trusting in His Grace, and not His condemnation.
Practical application: We know that “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 12:6). And how do we acquire that faith? It grows in us as we read His word and learn to trust Him. Is there an area or areas of your life when trusting God is a challenge? Do you battle with a guilt-ridden conscience? Read and re-read the scriptures with faith-building promises. Meditate on them. Let them sink deeply into your heart that faith and trust will overtake your fears and doubts.