Looking for Grace?
Think back over your life. For what were you searching when you slipped into that sinful behavior? Approval, adventure, excitement, or something else missing in your life?
It might be helpful to look at the basics of life.
These “little bundles” of you and me were born to live in peace, joy, love, contentment, and everything that completes us; however, the first sin in the Garden of Eden defined us as sinners.
If you were like me, in our beginnings, we tried our best to “line up” with our parents and church. At one time or another, everyone and everything let us down. We couldn’t please our church or God because we didn’t understand the boundaries and no one gave us answers, except one stock answer: “We just don’t do those things.”
We may have felt we couldn’t please our parents. Deep down inside, neither did they believe they pleased the church or God as they should. True peace was not in the equation, so we tried to find the missing ingredients: God’s unconditional love and our intimacy with Him.
We substituted the lack of personal relationship with God with something else. Much later, we found ourselves at the church altar or in a circle in AA or Celebrate Recovery to somehow figure it out and overcome. These were helpful, but . . .
I have a friend named Grace. Grace is the undeserved favor of God.
What connects Grace to you and me is explained in a statement by Jesus: “It is finished.”
That which is finished is our once-and-for-all salvation from our sin, for which Jesus died. The Law just doesn’t work anymore. We can’t keep it and never could in our own strength. We need Jesus. We simply need to repent of our sins and accept His grace . . . plus nothing . . . for salvation and for living.
Once we make Him the Lord of our life, Jesus calls us saints, who are “righteous and holy.” He is our standard: He completes us, and we Him. We find intimacy with the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
Righteous and holy people profess no other gods. They want to please God.
Righteous and holy people do not allow addictions or imaginations to rule their lives.
Righteous and holy people flee fornication, adultery, and people pleasing.
Righteous people know the meaning of "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37).
Righteous people “Love their neighbor as themselves” (v. 38).
Remember, these “little bundles” of you and me who were born to live in peace, joy, love, contentment, and everything that completes us? If we are not yet living this kind of life, maybe we should ask ourselves some questions.
Do we keep on sinning or do we repent? Are we “in Christ,” or are we not? Have we found “intimacy with God,” or have we not?
We can’t have it both ways.
I hear Jesus calling.