What grace is not
From Numbers: A 5-Week Devotional
Have you ever compared yourself to someone else on social media? Gotten frustrated with a family member and responded harshly? Maybe you accidentally spent too much, or ate too much and only realized it later on.
We sin every day, whether we are aware of it or not. While we can identify sins that we intentionally commit, such as stealing or gossiping, what we do involuntarily is harder to recognize.
How scary is it to think that we can sin and not know it? Our sin goes so much deeper than we can ever fully imagine or discern. The things we think are small — the things we do naturally — still matter to God.
In Numbers 15:27-31, we see how seriously God takes unintentional sins. Not only did God’s people have to make payment for the sins they knowingly committed, but they also had to make sacrifices for the sins that were subconscious, reactive, and instinctual.
We are no longer bound by Old Testament laws and rituals because of Jesus. His death on the cross was the ultimate and final sacrifice, atoning for all sin, for all time. As Christians, we are no longer bound to rules. Instead, we are bound in love to a perfect Father.
When we don’t have to fight against sin as Israel did, it is easy to forget the extent to which Jesus saved us. Don't mistake God's grace with God's permission.
Grace is not permission to sin, but an opportunity to move past sin. The weight of our sin didn’t change, the carrier did. We do not bear the weight because Jesus bore it for us. That is a precious, precious gift.
Grace is something we did not deserve, yet we get to walk in the freedom it gives us. The gift of grace is not an excuse to live how we want, and it’s more than a get-out-of-hell-free card. Grace is an invitation to turn away from sin and toward Jesus.
Let His sacrifice be what pushes us toward obedience and worship, knowing that in Jesus, we have the ability to do more and go farther than we ever thought possible.
- Do you tend to be more focused on following rules or on following Jesus? What is the difference?
- While sin is serious, it is also paid for. What’s one way you can walk in that freedom today?