Sunday, April 1, 2012
the freedom that comes from grace...
Have you ever strived for something only to fail miserably? Or wanted something so bad but had the preconceived notion that you weren't worthy of receiving it? I feel like that's how I handled God's grace for what seems like forever. I understood who He was, what His son Jesus did, and ultimately had a pretty good understanding of the "right" way to behave. I worked tirelessly at trying to please Him. I would purposefully not cuss, or be moody, you get the point? But then I would get tired or someone who really tick me off & I would blurt out some fleshly response only to live with the guilt of letting God down for a few days until I had forgotten or repented enough that I thought He had forgiven me. You see I was "working" to accomplish His approval. Working?! To please my loving Father?! Father... That's the relationship that I felt like I had to work to obtain. WRONG! I believe the Lord purposefully gave me a Father who I affectionately called daddy to show me exactly what a Father is. My memories are of a daddy who loved, kissed, and chose to believe the best about me in all situations. He always believed my intention wasn't to be evil or to disobey from lack of respect. You see not only did my daddy believe the best about me, I believe God always believes the best about His children. I believe He loves me despite my failings. I believe He lovingly desires me to talk to Him about everything. That's grace friends. Unmerited, undeserved favor. It was obtained for us by way of Jesus & His gruesome journey to the Cross. That is why we no longer have to work to get to God. We only have to rest in who we are in Him. The only way we discover that is by reading the scriptures & reminding ourselves daily that we belong to Him. Our worth is not from men, our purpose isn't created by men, our significance in this world isn't from men either. Our price tag says paid in full! 1 Corinthians 6:20 says we have been bought with a price(Jesus) therefore we should glorify God in our body & in our spirits. It's about living a life that glorifies Him because of what He has done not because you are attempting to earn something. That only causes strife & the potential to fail(which we all do at some point because we are human)When you place your trust & faith in God, He does what He does best & that is guide us into truth. It is a learned response on our part because over time if you understand how much God loves you instead of focusing on how much you love God you begin to operate & function out of the appreciation & love that comes when you realize you are good enough! I believe when I finally understood that I was precious in His sight & valued that I started to "rest" in that promise that His grace was sufficient(2 Corinthians 12:9) & that I indeed was immediately made whole. My goal now is to operate & function in the precious gift of grace. I am enough. You are enough. The challenge is retraining your brain from all that religious rules that no one can ever obtain. When we think we can do anything to be "better" than the next sinner we are operating under law & not grace. The real truth is if you are guilty of breaking any one part of the law then you are guilty of breaking it all (James 2:10) That my friends is why Jesus came & died in the first place to reconcile us back to God. His blood shed is enough to cover you, you need only repent & draw near to the one who made you. He longs to be in your daily life, in your conversations,apart of every facet of your life. And just like a earthly daddy desires all that is good for you so does our heavenly Daddy ;-)