The Penalty

Red lights, the whurp of a siren and I was pulled over. Recently, our province introduced law changing the speed limit in school zones. I was driving in an area where I do not usually drive and the school was set back from the road. I didn’t even see the school zone sign. The posted limit for the road was 70 km/h. In a school zone, with children present, it went down to 50 km/h. The officer informed me that it was now 30 km/h. That had me going 40 km/h over the posted limit! Needless to say, he issued me a ticket with a strong warning about safety. Four of my children were in the van with me, it was my oldest daughter’s birthday. The safety of children is extremely important to me, I just made a mistake.

After paying the fine and forfeiting my license for a week, I started thinking about what a high price I had to pay for an oversight. There was no malicious intent. I was going the posted limit, I meant to be doing good. My good, however, was just not good enough. There was no pardon.

How very thankful I am, that in His amazing plan of salvation, God did not say that I had to be good enough. In fact, He told me that He knew I would not be good enough and so He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to suffer the penalty for my transgressions.

Romans 3:23
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

James 2:10
For whoever keeps the whole law but stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

John 3:16-17
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son to condemn the world but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

The amazing gift of mercy and grace is unlike any other and it sets the precedent for all of our relationships. When I am interacting with my children, I need to remember that there are choices that require consequences but I also need to remember that, just like me, they are on a journey. There will be times when things happen that require mercy and grace. It is in my power to love them with the same model with which Christ has loved me. It will not always be easy. Situations will not always seem fair. But, my love for them needs to represent the unconditional love that my Heavenly Father has for me.

What a fantastic type God has created in our earthly families for the relationship He is seeking in the spiritual family. As parents, our primary responsibility is to “train up our children in the way they should go so that when they are old, they will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 
We need to be teaching them of God’s unfailing love for them and the very best way for us to do that is to model it in our own lives.

Titus 2:7
In everything, set them an example by doing what is good.

Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

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