October 5, 2016
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. ~ Romans 5:1-11
Much of the conversation this week in the Bible studies I’ve attended has revolved around God’s grace. In particular, I was asked how God has demonstrated grace in my life.
The enormity of the answer is almost too much to put to paper. The evidence of his grace is all around me, but what stands out the most to me, is his loving acceptance of this broken vessel. “For while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
At a time when I gave God every reason to cast me aside, instead he saved me. I denied him and he gave me eternal life. When I was angriest with God, he offered me peace and salvation. God’s grace amazes me.
God’s love and salvation are a gift given to us; it is never something we do for God. And that’s the amazing thing, God’s love and grace is undeserved. If we’re honest with ourselves, why would God want any of us? What have I to offer the King of Kings? On my best day, I sin continually – what can I do to deserve his gift of redemption?
“I’ve decided to accept Christ,” some would declare, as if we’re doing something for God. It reverses the roles and diminishes God’s gift of grace. And that’s the point, if we make it about us instead of Jesus, we deny his sacrifice.
The marvelous thing about God’s grace is his willingness to extend it to us, broken as we are. Have you ever felt as if you had no value? You are so precious to God that he gave his Son to redeem you. Who does that? Only God; because washed in Christ’s blood, we are redeemed and justified and are heirs with him to the kingdom of heaven.
I carry a small flat stone in my pocket that I call “enough.” It’s there to always remind me that God’s grace, God’s love is enough. On my worst day, I am reminded that through Christ I have enough.
Thank God for his grace, for his gift of a Savior and his unchanging love for all of us.
Amen and Amen.