Every time I think about what God has taught me this past year (which is a lot), one of the first things that comes to mind is freedom. Tying into that are the labels I discussed in a post a few weeks ago. This past summer I attended a youth camp and the theme of the week was called "unchained." I've grown up singing "My chains are gone! I've been set free!", and my heart believes it, but head knowledge is different. Until focusing on the concept of freedom for a week, I hadn't realized how many times I hold onto my old chains of sin and let them weigh me down.
The fact is, I'm a sinner. The fact is, I hold onto that sin and convince myself I'm not good enough to share about Jesus, and worry about what people will think of me if I do when I so obviously fail. How can I encourage others to live a life for Christ when I don't even have it all figured out? When I'm a failure? ...again. Because it's true, I fail over and over. I don't even mean once a week, I mean every day.
But dwelling on these facts is a problem. I constantly see only the bad in me. I could give you a list of my bad qualities, but creating a list of good qualities is a different story. The fact is, there's nothing good in me.
These facts, "I'm a sinner"..."There's nothing good in me," their sentences aren't finished.
That's what I forget, or sometimes refuse, to remember.
Here's the complete story about me:
I'm a sinner saved by grace. There is nothing good in me but Christ.
Too often I don't allow myself to live in the freedom that Christ has so freely given me. I rob myself of the joy found in Him and let my pride keep me from proclaiming His works. But God's grace, and the fact that He who lives in me is good, allows me to write to you. Christ commands me, and you, to live a life of service to Him and spread the good news of the Gospel to the world. He commanded this knowing that we would fail constantly, and that's why "He gives more grace."
You've heard the lyrics before, "if His grace is an ocean we're all sinking," and it's so true! But we must apply this truth to our lives. Too often we don't allow ourselves to even try to wrap our minds around the concept of grace, but we need to. It's a gift that God freely gives us, yet we deprive ourselves and others by refusing to believe the great depths that it reaches.
I pray this is God's encouragement to you today. Dwell on His grace. Believe that His grace is enough. Allow Christ to proclaim His grace to others through you. And remember...
There is no end to His grace.