His grace abounds
'Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.' Romans 5:20 NIV
Sometimes we worry that God won't accept us because we've made too many mistakes, or have gone too far off his path for us. But we don't need to worry. Paul could identify with this: before his 'Damascus Road' conversion (see Acts 9), he was 'Public Sinner Number One' (1 Timothy 1:15 The Message version). And then... God used him to reach the world with the Gospel! He said, 'Where sin increased, grace increased all the more' (Romans 5:20 NIV).
'Grace' was so central to Paul's message that he mentions it in all his letters. God's grace means that we have his favour, even though we've done things that don't deserve favour. And on top of that, God's Word says that we don't have to do anything to earn this grace: 'You have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God' (Ephesians 2:8 NCV). When we try and make ourselves right and pure before God it will always feel impossible; but when we believe that God's grace covers us, and all our mistakes, we can stop striving to be perfect and allow our perfect God to sort things for us.
We're God's redeemed children and he sees us through the blood of Jesus, which cleanses all our sins (see 1 John 1:9). There's nothing we can do to make God love us more, and nothing we can do to make him love us less.
So what now? Stop striving to earn God's acceptance. You have his favour. Thank him for his gift of grace.
Soulfood: Rom 1:1 - 3:20, Matt 13:47-58, Ps 141, Pro 4:18-19