Paid in Full

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Ever wonder why some trees fall down after a storm but others stand the test of time? It all comes down to what they’re rooted in. What does that have to do with you? Let’s find out.

Ever wonder why some trees fall down after a storm but others stand the test of time? It all comes down to what they’re rooted in. What does that have to do with you? Let’s find out.
If a tree is rooted in good fertile soil, it will stand the test of time, and produce fruit every year. But if you took a tree and planted it in a landfill, it won’t get the nutrients it needs because it’s sucking up garbage, and when a storm comes through, it will fall once the wind starts blowing.
What a tree is rooted in determines its size and its life. In the same way, what we are rooted in, what we build our life on, what we receive from, impacts every part of our lives.
So, what are you rooted in? Are you planted in the land-fill catch-all of this world? things like drama, insecurity, condemnation, hopelessness or are you rooted in Jesus? Specifically, in his forgiveness, righteousness, favor, and love? If we will root ourselves in the right things, like Ps 1 says “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers!”
God wants your life to prosper, & he has given us what we need to do that, but we have to choose to rest on, receive from, and trust in, him. And first thing he tells us to get rooted in, is his forgiveness.
I mean, have you ever really messed up, said something you shouldn’t have said, done something in anger, or really hurt somebody? I know I have. And if you’re anything like me your first response is to avoid that person at all costs because… you KNOW you messed up! So instead of waiting to hear them say that they don’t want anything to do with you anymore, you just kind of exile yourself.
But then one day they stop you in the hallway and say the words… “you are forgiven”. No strings attached, they’re not going to keep bringing it up and holding it over your head, it’s as if it didn’t happen. Their forgiveness is the greatest gift in the world because not only do you get that relationship back, but they just stopped the cycle of condemnation that I’m sure was playing on repeat in your head. You know where over and over you just tell yourself how terrible you are? Yeah – I know I’ve been there.
When someone forgives you, it changes everything. So, what’s more, is that in Jesus, you are completely forgiven… and fully free. Every way that you have messed up, everything that you have done wrong, hurt someone, hurt yourself, every lie that you told, the things you looked at, the thing that you are the most embarrassed and ashamed of people knowing, in Jesus you are completely forgiven, and fully free.
And this is how. The story of the bible is this. God created humanity, Adam and Eve, the very first people, in his image and in perfect relationship with him. They ruled and reigned with God on Earth. God gave them free will because he didn’t want submissive slaves, he wanted to build a family of sons and daughters who chose to obey him because they loved him. & God asked them to only not do one thing, eat from a specific tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But they were tempted by Satan who got them to doubt God’s goodness, and in rebellion against God, they ate the fruit. Their eyes were opened, they hid from God, and for the first time ever…. Humanity was rooted in condemnation, instead of forgiveness. Adam and Eve ran and hid because they knew like Romans 3:23 says that they had “sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. They had only ever lived in the glory and perfection of God, but they missed the mark of his perfect plan for their life, they had just fallen short of it. They hid from God because they were condemned. Condemned just meaning – accused, found guilty, and deserving of punishment. Death, disease, despair entered the world and the human heart for the very first time. We couldn’t escape the sin that separated us from God, as much as we tried to perform our way to living up to the glory of God… we couldn’t do it. So then comes Jesus.
Jesus. The Son of God, fully God, God in human form, came so that even though we had all fallen short of the glory of God…. NOW (Rom 3:24) all would be justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Even though (Romans 5:18) One trespass (Adams) resulted in condemnation for all people, one righteous act (Jesus on the gross) resulted in justification and life for all people.”
When we were accused, found guilty, and deserving of punishment, essentially dead men walking through life, Jesus came took the punishment we deserved, and gave us life instead. Jesus came to take us out of the soil of condemnation and root us in his forgiveness because his final words on the cross before he died were “Father forgive them”. 2 Cor 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
And when he came to life, once and for all he declared Romans 8:1 now “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. That (Psalm 103:12) “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” That we (2 Cor 5:17) are new creations, the old is gone, the new has come!
When we receive Jesus as Lord every way that you have missed the mark, has been forgiven. God does not see you as your mistakes, you are not defined by them, you are not in wrong standing with God because of those things. When God sees you, he sees the perfection of his son Jesus.
But if I am being completely honest with you, no matter how many times I hear those verses, it is still really hard for me to believe that. I don’t understand how God would want to richly dwell in me and how he could delight in me knowing how drastically I have missed the mark. And even if he HAS forgiven me, there is a part of me that believes that I have to pay him back for his forgiveness. That yes, he forgave me back then, but I need to live in such a way now that proves that I deserved his forgiveness.
But that’s the whole point. Think about the word forgiven. FOR as in BEFORE. Before – given. Given in advance. Jesus gave you his forgiveness before you did anything to need it. Which means that right now, all of your past, present, and future sins have already been paid in full. Your slate is clean. There is no beef between you and God. When God sees you, he only sees the perfection of his son Jesus. & his forgiveness doesn’t just cover us, work enough to cover us into a spot in heaven, the blood and the forgiveness of Jesus it cleanses. 1 Jn 1:7 “the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” & not just past sin, it purifies you from any way you could and will miss the mark in the future!!
And yeah, I don’t deserve it. You don’t deserve it. We will never be able to deserve his forgiveness and so often Jesus just has to tell me “Stop trying to pay for something you can’t afford. Stop punishing yourself and let Jesus being punished for you be enough. Because you are not in debt to God owing him good behavior. God isn’t mad at you. He isn’t out to get you. He has given you, in advance, everything you need to get out of the soil of condemnation.
I know that condemnation is real, you might be carrying around some really heavy shame. Whether by the law, the belief you have to do good things in order to earn a relationship with God, or by Satan who when you mess up just kind of comes along and whispers accusations and lies, or maybe by others who because they haven’t received the forgiveness of Jesus for themselves are really quick to point out your mistakes, or maybe even from yourself. The loathing, the self-hatred, the identity statements that we speak over ourselves on repeat.
We absorb what we are rooted in, and we begin to see it all over our life. And Just like when a tree isn’t in good soil, its fruit is mutated and ugly, when we are rooted in condemnation, we begin to see fruit in our life such as anger, depression, & self-sabotage.
And if you are there right now….in Jesus name, there is a better way. In Jesus name you don’t have to stay there. In Jesus name you can receive his forgiveness, root yourself in what HE says to be true over how you may even feel, absorb it, and let it change your life. Let it set you free, let it show you what kind of life is possible for you. & it is possible….
In John 8 Jesus was teaching at the temple when a huge crowd comes and throws a woman who was just caught in adultery on the ground in front of Jesus. The law at that time said that she deserved to die. She was condemned – accused, found guilty, and deserving of punishment. So, the crowd all picked up stones and said “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” Jesus bent down for a moment and wrote in the dirt, but finally he looked up and said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And one by one the crowd dropped their stones and walked away until only Jesus was left. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
I want you to catch this – the only one who was without sin, Jesus, the only person who *could* have thrown a stone at her, is the only one who didn’t even pick one up. Jesus stepped in between her and her accusers, to forgive her, and give her, her life back.
Even in your worst moments, Jesus, the only person who COULD rightfully throw a stone of condemnation at you, doesn’t even pick one up. He stands in the gap between you and your accusers, to forgive you, and give you your life back.
And forgiveness is called a gift because there isn’t anything to do but receive it. On mornings when you wake up and the self-condemnation has already started, you get to choose to confess and repent. Confess- come into agreement with what he says to be true that in him you are completely forgiven and fully free. & then repent – change your thinking, do a U turn and decide to go down another road, decide to uproot from the soil of condemnation, and plant yourself in the soil of forgiveness.
In Jesus, you are completely forgiven and fully free. & truly receiving that gift, it will change everything.

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