Beholders many faults may find,
But God forgave them all
Before the earth or sea or time,
Before poor Adam’s fall.
My sin and shame He does not see;
My filthy rags are gone.
They’re nailed upon a rugged tree:
Redeeming work is done.
When you look at me, you will not see perfection. It isn’t even one of my goals.
It used to be.
For the longest time, I believed God could not love me unless I did everything right. People sure act that way. People want you to talk right, act right, smell right, look right—but God just wants you to let Him love you as you are.
When you go shopping, occasionally you’ll see a tag that says, “AS IS.” This is not a good sign, for it generally means that the product is defective in some way and has no warranty. Most of the time we pass right by those items tagged, “AS IS.”
But that’s not the way God works. He is looking specifically for people who have marked themselves, “AS IS.” We are all flawed. We come with no warranty. Our only guarantee is that we will fail. God is looking for people who are willing to admit their failure and draw on His strength. He longs to take our brokenness and heal it with His forgiveness.
As the poem states, forgiveness was settled from the very beginning of time. God knew you and I would be born someday, and He knew we would choose to sin. But He wanted a relationship with us so much that He provided a way for us to be pure and holy, like He is—through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. From the very beginning, God had a perfect plan to send His perfect Son to pay our debt. Jesus became a man through the virgin birth so that as man He could represent all of mankind to the Father. Nobody else ever loved you like that!
By God’s grace I have accepted His gift of salvation, and I have been clothed with His robe of righteousness. Do I still fail? Yes, every day. But I read God’s love letter to me, the Bible. There I find cleansing and strength to do what He has called me to do. I pray, talking to my Father just as candidly as I am talking to you right now, and I know He hears me. He loves me with an everlasting love, and no matter what I do, I have the assurance that I am FORGIVEN.
Ephesians 1:7 In [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
Do you have that assurance too?
Photo taken in Milton, Florida, 2017