You Were Claimed Before Being Cleaned

The good news of the gospel isn’t just that God loves you, but that He loves you as much as He loves Jesus, and that when He looks at you, He doesn’t see your sin; He sees His Son. It’s good news that Christ cleanses us, but even better that He claimed you before cleaning you. He saw your mess and said, “You’re mine!”{Rom. 8:17; Jhn. 17:22-24; 1 Jhn. 3:1-3; Isa. 43:1}

“Hanging upon the cross, Christ was the Gospel.” ~Ellen G. White

Dirty Fingernails: For mechanics in Afghanistan filthy hands means finished repairs

He Chose The Mess

blood splatter crossToday, I went through a fire safety training where the demonstrator talked about how much of a mess it can cause to discharge a fire extinguisher. Of course, nobody wants to have to clean up a huge mess, but an even less desirable outcome is having nothing salvageable to clean up because everything was completely consumed in a fire. In conclusion, he said, “When you have to choose between a fire and a mess, choose the mess!” That simple phrase struck a chord deep within me.

I’ve previously discussed how messy the cross (Calvary) must have been and how messy God’s grace still is (CLICK HERE). To spare us from the wages of sin, which is death, to spare us from hell’s fire, we serve a God who chose the mess. He chose the bloody, messy cross, and although it’s been a mess, although I was a mess, He took the nails. He conquered death. He chose the mess! I hope you enjoy this song by CeCe Winans about how the cross wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. >>>>

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What a Mess!

bloody cross

The Messy Foot of the Cross

“This place is a mess!” My mother pointed that out to us when we were kids, and now that I have four active children ranging from preschool to teen years, I frequently point it out, as well. But the messy place I’m referencing today isn’t my home. I’m continually struck by the messiness of another place, a place called grace. Grace refuses to be bound, refuses to be neatly packaged, refuses to land on just me or just you. It’s messy, overflowing onto everyone, getting all over everything. The same grace that is enough for you and me is sufficient for the most heinous of criminals, the most wretched of souls.

No matter what you’ve done and no matter what’s been done to you, God’s grace covers you, the ones you’ve harmed and the ones who’ve harmed you most. This comment is not at all to diminish the reality of suffering you may have experienced or the scars you may still bear. I’m simply sharing what I’ve come to believe, which is that those who’ve wounded me the deepest are living under the same grace by which I stand.

The most concise description of grace is: unmerited favor. We don’t deserve it. There’s nothing we can do to earn grace, and bless God, nothing we can do to be unworthy of it. Grace refuses to have an exclusive target, yet is determined to never miss its intended mark. A friend recently wrote a blog post, Grace Like Snow, and I had the thought, “Indeed, grace is like snow.” It’s not neat; it flutters on down, falling on everything around.

After revisiting a detailed description of the physical death of Jesus Christ, I remain convinced that Golgotha was a terribly messy place and that anyone physically involved in the death of Christ left covered in the same blood that paid their price. Those committing the worst crime against Jesus were the most covered in His precious blood. It’s amazing how the worst circumstances and worst offenses make grace all the more incomprehensible and all the more invaluable. As Christ hung on the cross, He begged for forgiveness of those same, unrepentant sinners who were yet causing His death. They were covered and didn’t even know it, covered by His blood, covered by His grace. What a mess the cross surely was. What a mess His grace surely is. It gets everywhere!

There’s a place exhuming every depth

Climbing every height, spanning every breadth

And this place has covered every cost

Still covers the saved, still saves the lost

Messy grace moves us to love the unlovable.

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