Spiritual Director · November 7, 2016

Affirm #14

We all have them. Some are good, some not so good, others downright devastating. Some are very noticeable, others we try to hide. Do you know what I’m referring to? I’m talking about habits. You know, those things we do on a continual basis, like a routine.

Some good habits are: brushing your teeth, eating healthy food, getting exercise. As Christians we should include reading our Bible, having prayer time, sharing our faith. Those are all good habits.

Some not so good habit would include: chewing your fingernails, picking your nose, talking with food in your mouth, coughing without covering your mouth. It’s not as if these are detrimental, but not good manners or etiquette.

And then we have the really bad habits: drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, money. We all know people who have become overcome by these habits and lost their way. These things became permanent fixtures, controllers, in their lives and they can’t break them in and by themselves.

Well, can I tell you God has a habit too and He’s not going to apologize for it either. We generally don’t think of habits as being good – maybe because the bad ones far outweigh the good ones and are so damaging to our lives. But God’s habit is always beneficial to us. God has made it a habit to forgive us. Listen to what the Psalm writer wrote…

“If You, GOD, kept records of wrongdoings, who could stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is Your habit, and that’s why You’re worshipped.” —Psalm 130:3-4

Now so you know, that doesn’t give us liberty to just go out and sin all the more because we know that God’s habitual grace will cover all our sins. Yes, His love, grace and forgiveness are immeasurable… no length, no width or no depth. Yes, His unconditional love is who He is and He can’t change that. Yes, He has a permanent case of forgiveness, because He looks at You through the cross of His Son, Jesus. He’s not looking at Your sin – He’s looking at You through Jesus and when He does, He can’t help Himself. He loves you. He showers grace on you. Even if you don’t think you deserve it.

God’s habit of forgiving you isn’t based on anything you did to deserve it. It’s not like you stopped doing a bad habit so then God changed His mind about you and decided to offer you pardon. No, it’s not only what He does, it’s who He is! He’s always ready to forgive and offer you a brand new start.

Here my word of encouragement for you today

Like me, you’re probably in need of some forgiveness today. Why not spend a moment with God and allow Him to once again assure you of His habitual love, grace and forgiveness.

Thank You for loving us so much that You gave Your Son, Jesus, to die for us. Thank You for no limits on Your habitual grace. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

—Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.