If You Are Searching I Hope This Finds You: The Grace of God
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (NIV)
I’ve spent most of my life trying to save myself. In essence, I was trying to earn my own salvation by filling my heart with various things. Things that I thought would satisfy my hunger for joy, purpose and significance. Time after time, I turned my back on God, blamed him for my present injustices, and just keep searching for something else that would serve my needs. No matter how hard I pushed God away, he kept coming back. He kept injecting my life with people who lived in the light, people who reached out to me time after time, and stayed true to God’s works. I kept resisting, but He kept pulling me in.
I’m embarrassed to admit this now, but I’ll be honest. I even followed breadcrumbs down a path, which led me to believe I could will the universe to meet my needs, by some power of attraction. But, God never turned his back on me, and because of God’s grace & love he saved me…
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by the grace you have been saved)
We don’t have to continue to live under sin’s power anymore. The penalty of sin and its power over us were miraculously defeated by Christ on the cross. Through faith in Christ we can stand guiltless before God.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence.”
Grace is God’s voluntary and loving favor given to those he saves. My main point of this blog is WE CAN’T EARN SALVATION, nor do we deserve it. No religious, moral effort, or mystical power can help us gain it because it comes only from God’s mercy and love. Without God’s grace I would have never been saved. TO RECEIVE IT, we must acknowledge that we can’t save ourselves, that ONLY GOD CAN SAVE, and that the only way to receive this loving unmerited favor is through faith in Christ.
This doesn’t mean our works don’t matter to God. But it’s important to not fall under the false assumption I did, and try to use your works as means to earn what God has given freely to all of us. I always thought I had to get everything in my life straightened out before I could receive God’s grace.
“For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn to the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Not a free pass to sin
You should not minimize the sinfulness of sin, believing that how you choose to live has nothing to do with your faith. The reality is, what a person truly believes will show up in the way they act. Those who truly have faith will show it by respecting God and they will have a sincere desire to live according to God’s word.
The point is, when we were under law, sin was our master. The law does not help us or justify us to overcome sin. When we are bound to Christ, he is our master and he gives us power to do good rather than evil.
“But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. The women said to him “Sir give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw”
The women in this story mistakenly believed if she received the water Jesus offered, she would not have to return it to the well each day. She was interested in the message of Jesus because she thought it could make her life easier. But if that were the case, then people would accept Christ for the wrong reasons. The biggest thing I’ve learned and quite frankly the most rewarding is as follows: Christ did not come to take away our challenges, but to change us on the inside, and to empower us to deal with problems from God’s perspective.
Another important thing to point out in this story (good to read the whole story) is the women didn’t really understand at first. Like myself, I think it takes time to accept something that changes the very foundation of your life. I am a living testimony! I resisted God, and replaced him with many things I chose to worship. But he is a great God! A God of grace, righteousness, and mercy. He pulled me in, and is helping me reform my life.
1 Peter 5:5
“God resist the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Since accepting Christ, it is clear to my wife and I that being Christians requires a well full of gratitude & humility. The closer we come to know Christ, the more we are exposed to ours sins and weaknesses. But we know that only Christ can forgive our sins and give us new life. The joy we are now able to experience is truly amazing. Christ has given us the power and privilege to become better people. To stand in the darkness and see the light. We are now able to rejoice at our shortcomings & have gratitude for our opportunities to grow together in Christ. I am forever grateful to have such an amazing wife, mother to our beautiful son Kason, and partner to walk beside on this spiritual journey.
*If anybody has any questions or comments, feel free to shoot me an email to the address below: