Does Grace End?

I’m wondering this morning when does God’s grace end?

All too often, I hear people note their imperfections/hang-ups/sins.  Sometime during the conversation, it’s clear that they don’t believe in grace.  “How could God love someone like me?  You don’t know what I’ve done. etc.”  Because of this belief (verbalized or not), the enemy has convinced them they’re no good to society.  In other words, life for them means nothing more than survival.  The hidden secrets are too numerous to count.

What a sad way to live!

Yesterday, I noted the faith of those God called to rebuild the temple.  But if you’ve read Ezra, you know everything isn’t as “cut and dry” as it seems.  Upon returning, God convicts the Israelites of their sin and selfishness.  They were told to be different from the other nations.  Yet they have followed their own desires/wishes.  And for this rebellion, there are consequences.

A priest/scribe named Ezra prays to God concerning the nations sin.  Read the prayer in chapter 9 and note how he describes sin and its results.  But today, I want to focus on after the confession.

And Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, of the sons of Elam, addressed Ezra: “We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this.  Ezra 10:2 ESV (emphasis mine)

The rest of the chapter records Ezra’s reminder to set themselves apart from the foreign nations.  The Israelites were told to put the foreign wives “away.”

This is a good reminder for me of what my sin does to my relationship with God.  It’s simple to say it’s ugly and nasty.  But in reality, it causes death.  There always has been (and will always be) consequences for my selfish rebellion.  Yet look again at the end of verse 2.  Even now there is hope for Israel.  If they will confess, repent of their wickedness, and turn back towards God, He will receive them again.  It happens over and over again – in Scripture and in my own life.

If somehow you’ve been convinced that your sin is worse than others, be encouraged.  There’s hope found only in God.  Humble yourself to return to relationship and realize the peace God gives.  May it be so!

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