This past Friday I was finishing up the bulletins for Sunday worship when I noticed that there were a few that came out of the copier with ink spots on them. My first reaction was to toss all of the ink spotted bulletins away and copy new ones or I could just get some whiteout and cover the ink and I would still be able to use them. I had already printed out all of them and the ink spots weren't covering up any of the wording so I decided to keep them. I got them all finished and placed them in their proper places for worship and left work for the day. But I left work still thinking of the ink spots.
The topic of my Thursday evening women's Bible study that I have been leading has been on grace, God's transforming grace. Last Thursday we did an exercise using chocolate fondue and cut up pieces of fruit, pound cake and pretzels. It was yummy! I asked the ladies if their pieces of fruit had changed after they had been dipped into the chocolate fondue? They all answered yes. The chocolate fondue had made the fruit, cake and pretzels even that much better. I then asked them if God transforms us like the chocolate fondue covered the fruit? Their answer was no. God transforms us from the inside out. It isn't just how we are on the outside but how we reflect God from the inside. God's grace is freely given. All we have to do is accept it. God also forgives us through his grace. Like those ink spots on the bulletins we are sometimes covered in sin spots. But unlike the ink spots we can't just cover them up with whiteout or toss them away. Our sin spots can only be washed away by the blood of Christ and God's amazing grace. Can you imagine if we walked around with whiteout all over us so that no one would see our sins? Or if we would just be thrown out with the trash? Thankfully God doesn't work that way. When we ask to be forgiven, God washes our sins away and forgets. Wouldn't it be nice if we forgave others the way God forgives us?
"Now it's time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you, and send you the Messiah he prepared for you, namely Jesus." - Acts 3:19-20 (The Message)