Let me introduce you to Grace. You may know her. She probably showed up in the form of a grade of a "B" on a test when you KNOW you did not adequately study. If not, you may have met her when you were offered that job that you were totally unqualified for or maybe she made an appearance when your spouse came home with flowers though you've had a bad attitude for the last few days. Yep, I thought you may know her. I know her too and she has changed my life. Here's how...
Grace Saved Me
You know the song, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me." I was/am that wretch, full of sinful behavior; a bad attitude, sometimes rude, unloving, unkind. You get the point. I don't want to air all of my dirty laundry. Yet, it was mercy that lead Jesus to a hill called Calvary to die on a cross for a punishment I was guilty of; a wretched, sinful life. And, it was grace that saved me from an eternity in hell and gave me eternal life with God.
There was nothing I could do to earn this grace. No price I could pay to buy this grace. No need to even bother trying to figure out why I was even given this grace. It was freely given. The unmerited, undeserving favor of God, grace, was given to little, old, wretched me. Grace gave me the opportunity to receive salvation simply by "confessing with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and believing in my heart that God raised Him from the dead." There's no better gift I would ever receive than the gift grace gave me through Jesus; the gift of salvation. Grace saved me.
Grace Freed Me
In Max Lucado's book, Grace: More Then We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine, he writes, "God's guilt brings enough regret to change us. Satan's guilt, on the other hand, brings enough regret to enslave us." When I read this, it spoke volumes to me. In this graceless world that we live in, it's often hard for others to accept when we have made a change for the better. We're still reminded of what we used to be and what we used to do, but when we accepted God's grace he freed us of that sin, guilt, and shame.
Just like this graceless world, Satan aims to shout from the highest mountains all of my faults and short comings. Yet, Jesus, even to this day, sits at the right hand of God rising to my defense. Because of this grace, I don't have to beat myself up about my past or about mistakes I make today. When God looks at me, he doesn't see a wretched, sinful person. He sees the perfect sacrifice, Jesus, covering me. Grace freed me.
Grace Humbled Me
Before grace could save me or free me, it had to humble me. When I met grace, I had to say goodbye to pride. Have you ever tried to help someone or give someone a gift but pride wouldn't allow them to accept it when you know they could use the help or gift? Grace allowed me to see that I was a sinner in need of a savior and that I should accept the gift of salvation. Yet, pride would have made me think I had no need for grace. After all, I'm a good person....stay out of trouble...kind to most people...have a degree...pay my bills. That's good enough, right!? Wrong. Grace humbled me and pointed me to the cross to show me that it's not me who's good enough, but it's Christ who's perfect enough.
Through the lens of grace, I was shown that if a perfect Christ could humble himself enough to grant me, an imperfect person, grace, surely I can offer grace to those around me. When you've been given grace, you give grace. I had to learn to give grace even to the little, old, rude lady that frequented the pharmacy I worked at. She was undeserving of me going out of my way to help her but that was the beauty of grace. So was I....undeserving, ineligible, unsuitable and yet, grace was given to me. So, how could I not humbly give it to her. Grace humbled me.
Friends, grace changed me. It can change you too. Let grace happen to you.
Let me know your thoughts below. I can't wait to read them.
Love, peace, and sole!