Jill Jarrell Newsome
Bad Girl Grannies
I was working a spiritual retreat weekend and there was a lady who seemed to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders. It seemed she could not have fun and never sang. After two days someone gave a talk about going through a divorce. The minister said, "divorce is not an unforgivable sin!" Tears from years of guilt flowed out of this lady as she was finally able to accept forgiveness. She shared that she had carried shame and guilt for years from being divorced. After that day she was a different person who was filled with joy and growing in Christ! She was also singing and smiling like she did not have a worry in the world!
When I think back to some of the things I have done and decisions I have made I am so ashamed. I could live in guilt but thankfully I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for me and my sins. When He forgave me He remembers them no more. Hebrews 8: 12, "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." And what is more amazing is that He can use me! And you! He has to. There are no perfect people. Just Jesus!
Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba were Jesus' great, great, great, great grannies and they were all bad girls at some point. Grandmothers in His family tree! Although they were broken and some were prostitutes, some had affairs and some lied, God still chose them. You know these women felt like outsiders. I am sure they were weary and burdened. Tired of being ignored, taken advantage of and unappreciated. Tired of being lost. I am sure they wanted to give up.
Through human history I cannot imagine some of the wretched sinners Jesus has forgiven. But He forgave me and no sin is greater than the other. That means I am that wretched sinner. Through God's grace I am forgiven. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. It is the love of God shown to us who are unlovely. Because of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba's transformations look how God could use them! And they made it into the Bible!
What we were in the past has been covered by the blood of Jesus. Jesus gives us His name, His lineage and His righteousness. Thank Him today for His grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Thank Him for His goodness. We are never too far away from God's reach! He will take us just like we are! Then He will use us to accomplish all that He said He would accomplish. He will bring good from bad for those who love Him. Romans 8: 28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
God doesn’t care where we came from, or about our past sins. He offers forgiveness and hope. He doesn’t care what we were, but who we become!