Josh Bales is a great musician. Kind of country. Leads worship at a local church. I’ve met him, but he doesn’t know me. I listen to his music in my car.
My favorite is called “Only the Sinner.” And my favorite line is “only those who have no alibi…Jesus saves.”
It’s a song about grace.
Those of us who love prodigals know all about alibis. Those prodigals always have “alibis” or excuses or blame for someone else. Surely they didn’t do it, whatever “it” is. Falsely accused. Unfairly caught. Always an alibi.
But what about us? Don’t we have alibis? Excuses? What we did—or didn’t do–wasn’t really wrong. Little sins.
“Only those who have no alibi…only those who cannot hide their sin…Jesus saves.”
You see, grace is a gift. It was paid for with the incomprehensible price of the death of the Son. Then it is offered freely to you, to me, to our prodigals, to everyone.
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! (Romans 5:15)
It overflows to the many. To you. To me. To our prodigals. But why do we not all live in that grace? Why do our loved ones not experience it?
We only access that grace as we see our need for it. It is a gift that must be received. We keep offering alibis—reasons that we are worthy, proof that we are good, excuses for our little sins.
It is so hard to come before our God, admitting our weakness, our impurity, our unworthiness, our vileness.
Yet it is that humbling ourselves, confessing our sin, turning from our own way, that releases the outrageous, abundant, lavish, FREE grace of God to cover us, fill us, sustain us, free us, lift us, encourage us, strengthen us….
I know I often have to bring my alibis to the feet of Jesus. When I give them to Him, He pours His grace all over me.
If it is hard for me to give up my alibis, I’m sure it is also hard for my prodigal. And if my generous God freely gives His extravagant grace to me, how can I do less to those I love?
What about you? Do you have any alibis that are keeping you from living freely in God’s grace?
c2012 Judy Douglass
If you would like more information, to request prayer for a prodigal, or to join our full-of-grace community, please write to prayerforprodigalsatgmaildotcom with your questions or names, or for an invitation.
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