Regardless of your geographical state of residence, if you’re a Christian, there is a second state in which you live: The state of Grace! And while it is not a geographical location, the state of Grace does represent a government and a ruling authority—that of the kingdom of God. And one day during the coming Millennium, when Christ rules from His throne in Jerusalem, the whole world will represent the state of Grace. Indeed, during those days, the grace of God will be the “rule of the realm.”
Land of Opportunity: Lost and Found
I have encountered many committed followers of Christ who have allowed a past sin, mistake, choice, or lifestyle to rob them of their opportunity to be fully engaged in serving the Lord. They think: “I once had the opportunity to serve Christ, but when I (name that sin), I lost my opportunity. My brain knows that God forgives and restores, but my heart just can’t seem to get the message.”
Do you feel that way? I believe the sense of lost opportunity is rooted in a faulty understanding of God’s grace. Likewise, when grace is grasped and embraced, the Land of Opportunity becomes yours again.
Living in the state of Grace without knowing it’s the Land of Lost-Opportunities-Found is like being a water enthusiast in Minnesota and not knowing it’s the Land of 10,000 Lakes. There is a huge disconnect between living in the state of Grace and saying, “I lost my opportunity to be involved due to sin.”
In the state of Grace, there is no such thing as opportunity lost that cannot be found. Grace means forgiveness—period. Forgiveness doesn’t come in shades of gray in the state of Grace: You’re either forgiven by God or you’re not. If you are lacking opportunities to serve, it’s not because God hasn’t forgiven you—so who does that leave? Yes, it’s important to seek His forgiveness, be reconciled to other people, and repent and turn away from sin. But when we have done those things to the best of our spiritual and practical ability, “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”—and restore our opportunity to serve Him with the fullness of His blessing (1 John 1:9).
Moving to the State of Grace
Former televangelist Jim Bakker told how, after five years in prison, the Billy Graham family reached out to provide everything he needed. He had lost his ministry, his wife, his reputation, and possessions.
After being out of prison less than 48 hours, the Graham clan invited Bakker to attend church with them in Montreat, North Carolina. The last to arrive at church was Ruth Graham who came in and seated herself right beside Jim Bakker. At lunch at the Graham’s home after church, they continued to minister to the former convict.
That’s the state of Grace: forgiven, accepted, and given everything necessary to live in God’s Land of Opportunity. When God forgives one of His own, so should the church. When debts are paid, no opportunity is withheld (Ephesians 4:32).
Just as Jim Bakker moved back into ministry in God’s Land of Opportunity, so did the apostle Peter. We all know the story of his denial of Christ on the eve of the Crucifixion and how he wept in shame over his spiritual failure (Matthew 26:75). But Jesus forgave Peter and re-commissioned him for service (John 21:15-19); and in a matter of days, we find Peter boldly preaching the Gospel and leading the church in Jerusalem (Acts 2 – 7).
Live in the Land of Opportunity
You are no different than the apostle Peter, a fallen televangelist, or any other follower of Christ who has failed and been restored—unless you haven’t yet begun to enjoy all that the state of Grace has available for you.
I encourage you today to begin living afresh in the Land of Opportunity—the kingdom of God’s amazing grace. If you know you are forgiven . . . live like it! As a citizen of the state of Grace, let “Land of Opportunity” be your lifelong motto.
Dr. Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of
Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
For more information on Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org
At its heart, the message of the gospel is simple. For some people, it’s even too simple. They want to do something to earn their salvation. Can you relate? Dr. David Jeremiah continues his look at the dangers of legalism, which robs believers of the absolute freedom they have in Christ.