Cheering for Both Sides
“…Since the gracious work of Christ Jesus is already in everybody and for everybody simply because he’s the God who holds everything in his loving, forgiving hands, the root premise of my counsel to [a church member] was just this: the guilt shop has been closed, boarded up entirely and for good by God’s grace and nothing else. All she needs to do is trust that million-dollar news and let the liberating relationship it has already established happen. She never has to spend another penny in the guilt department.
“Oh, I know. That gives you problems. You’re worried that it might give people the idea that they have permission to sin. Well, I have news for you: everybody, to the best of my knowledge, already has permission to do any damned-fool thing he or she can get away with. That doesn’t make it smart to sin or fun to sin, or even to make sin a good idea because it gives grace a chance to abound. But it does mean that God, on the available evidence, is not seriously in the sin-prevention business. He’s in the sin-forgiving business…”
Scripture Reading: John 3:16-18
Find something heavy. Something you can lift, but that requires some amount of effort. Maybe it’s a weight or a cinder block or the big sack of dry dog food (just make sure it’s not something that would break easily if you dropped it, or that would damage the floor or whatever you happen to be standing on). Got it? Good. Now pick it up and just hold it. Hold it for longer than you can stand. Really feel the weight of it in your hands, the way it pulls down your arms, the way it stretches your shoulders. Don’t hurt yourself, but hold it as long as you can stand, and really take the time to concentrate on its weight. When you can stand it no longer, let go of the weight and notice the pleasure, the release, the freedom you now feel. Revel in it. Appreciate it. Now meditate on this: the weight was your sin, the release was giving it to Jesus. Forever. Let Him take it and live a life of freedom.
Ask questions, share thoughts and wrestle together about your experiences from the material this week.