Girlfriends in God - Nov. 29, 2007


November 29, 2007

Receiving Grace and Forgiveness

Sharon Jaynes


Today’s Truth

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17


Friend to Friend

The woman looked at me with sadness in her eyes. “I just can’t believe I did it. I had three abortions and I love children! How could I have killed my children?”


It seemed this question rang in Laura’s ears like an intruding alarm clock at the beginning of the day. Even though she had asked God to forgive her several times, Laura had not let go of her past sins and forgiven herself.


Not many people know of Laura’s abortions. She is a faithful Christian who hides her pain well – except with those who know her best. One day, I confronted her.


“Laura, you were a teenager when you had those abortions,” I said. “That was thirty years ago and you weren’t a Christian. You are a new creation now. The old is gone the new has come. The Laura you are today would not have an abortion. The old, dead Laura would, but she doesn’t exist any longer.”


“I know,” she replied. “But I just can’t let it go.”


For thirty years, Laura has operated under a spirit of condemnation. Every time she looks into the eyes of a child, including her own, she feels shame for what she did. However, God forgave Laura years ago. He wiped her slate clean and wrote “forgiven” in bright red letters across the ledger of her life. God longs for Laura to operate under a spirit of grace, mercy, and forgiveness, but He cannot force her to open the present, pluck the bow from its lid, and enjoy the gift nestled inside. She must receive it.


Just a clearly as God has forgiven Laura and thrown her sins into the deepest of seas, Satan, the father of lies, reminds her of her failures and encourages her to fish them out day-after-day. And as long as she is willing to take the bait, he is going to cast the line.


Receiving grace and forgiveness for the wrongs we have committed is an act of faith. “It is difficult to fathom such extravagant, unconditional love, yet so many of us leave His gift unopened. We admire its wrapping or marvel at its enormity, but avoid getting too close. Something within us cannot grasp the idea that God meant this for us, and so we put conditions on accepting His gift.”[1] But God puts only one condition on this gift…believe on His Son. God offers the gift of grace, but we must accept it.


No one deserves the grace and mercy of God, but for some reason He has decided to immerse us in it. Brennan Manning, in The Ragamuffin Gospel explains, “To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side, I learn who I am and what God’s grace means. As Thomas Merton put it, ‘A saint is not someone who is good but who experiences the goodness of God.’”


Let’s Pray

Dear God, Thank You for forgiving me. I receive Your grace and forgiveness. Thank You that I am a new creation and the old is gone…the new has come.

In Jesus’ Name,



Now it’s Your Turn

Is there some area of your life where you are having trouble accepting God’s forgiveness? If so, picture God holding out a wonderful gift to you. He will not force you to open it, but wants you to take it. What will you do?


If you would like to be free once and for all, please pray the following prayer.


Dear Lord, I come before You today, confessing ____________. I am truly repentant and sorry for my sin against You. I ask that You forgive me and cleanse me. Right now, I receive Your grace and forgiveness. I believe that You have forgiven me and no longer hold my sin against me. I accept the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for my sin and I thank You that my debt has been paid in full. Thank You, God, for forgiving me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


If you have prayed that prayer, I’d love to hear from you. E-mail me at or contact me through Girlfriends in God.


More from the Girlfriends

God longs for us to be free! That’s the reason Jesus came. If you would like to learn more about this life of freedom, see Sharon’s book, Experience the Ultimate Makeover.


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[1] Diane Dempsey Marr, Ph.D., The Reluctant Traveler (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2002), p.155.

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Originally published Thursday, 29 November 2007.