Monday, April 7, 2014

God is Greater Than Our Heart

Please welcome guest author Melissa Cimbala! Melissa works on staff for DiscipleMakers and has a passion for seeing others grow in their knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. She also loves sunshine, breakfast, and silliness. For anyone who is weary in the fight and feel condemned by your sin, this post is for you. 
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1 John 3:20 “For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.”

Sin runs deep, the cross runs deeper
All people have sinned deeply and rejected God, professing Christians included. That is why we deeply need Jesus; we need a Savior who is bigger than ourselves. We need the cross of Christ with all of its facets and implications for our sin and redemption. One facet in particular stands largely in the face of sin…

You just did it again. Your words oozed with pride and disdain, you looked at porn, you skipped another meal to go to the gym, you went too far and failed to honor him or her physically. You know that it’s wrong, that it is sinful, and yet you keep on doing it. Satan seems to be cheering you on and his victory seems imminent.

Maybe it’s not a repetitive sin weighing you down. Maybe there was one defining moment that you wish you could take back. You can see how broken and evil it is. How much it influences your life and your relationship with God.

You need forgiveness, redemption, healing. You ask God for forgiveness, but you cannot seem to forgive yourself or to believe that God would forgive you either. It seems too big, too wrong, and too persistent. Where is the hope?

The hope is in the cross.
 Jesus’ death on the cross did something amazing. It not only atoned for our sins, but it also threw Satan’s schemes upside down. Satan WANTS you to despair at your sin and the “worse” the sin, the more he is going to guilt you and plague you and try to make you believe that you cannot be forgiven and redeemed.

BUT when Jesus died He covered it all. He “is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” He knows what is in your heart. He is bigger than what is in your heart. And knowing what is in you He still died, He still chose you.

What does this mean for Satan? What does it mean for us? It means that the more deeply you feel your sin; the more deeply you can know that Jesus loves you and died for you. No matter how bad and persistent the sin may be, Jesus already knew about it before He died and He still chose to pay the cost.

This actually reverses Satan’s schemes!! It means that the more and more entrenched in sin that you get, the more and more you begin to see your need for a savior and the more and more you realize how great He is and how much He loves you. The worse your sin seems, the more you should love your Savior, knowing what He has saved you from. Because of the cross, whenever Satan leads you into sin or guilt he actually eventually leads you to greater freedom and grace within the Gospel.

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means!" (Romans 6:1-2). BUT we can use our sin as a launching pad into greater relationship with Christ. Whenever you feel the weight of your actions hanging over you, whenever you fail again at what you promised you would never do… you GET to know Jesus more deeply. Instead of feeling guilty and too far out of forgiveness, recall that Jesus is greater than your heart and that He has not condemned you.

The devil wants you to wallow in guilt? Look at how deep your sin runs, laugh at Satan, and look to the deeper cross. Your deep sin will deepen your love for Jesus.