A crazy thing about my mind, I think, is my ability to trick myself. Nobody wants to believe they have any major faults within them. Personally I like to believe I am a pretty good person. Patient, gentle, giving, law-abiding, non-judging, practicing Christian (at least to the best of my abilities) are some of the attributes I would say could describe me.
Sure I have a less than desirable side too that comes out here and there. I’m well aware I have some imperfections, but hey, nobody’s perfect, right? So long as I’m doing my best, not hurting anybody, and not telling anyone else how to live, all is well and good it would seem.
And as long as my final destination, is what may come, from the best of my abilities here on Earth, I’d be right with such ideas as these. At least while I still live.
Therein lies the problem. The final destination I have in mind, is so far beyond my abilities, it’s almost being cruel to myself even entertaining the thoughts that I could end up there. Seriously, my chances are less than a high school dropout getting into Harvard. And to make matters worse that’s only based on who I know I am or who I believe I could be, it’s not counting those parts of me I trick myself into believing insignificant, or not even worth contemplating because they wouldn’t apply to me.
So there I was, according to me, a good person, living the best she knows how to live, all while dreaming of one day reaching a place, that short of a miracle, could never be reached. Then, I got my very own, “once upon a time” fairy tale story.
The beautiful thing about it is, I know the end is guaranteed to be happy no matter what I may run into along the road I walk getting there. For me having that guarantee is more than I could have ever hoped for or dreamed of especially as I’m known to veer off and get myself lost more frequently than I may be worth.
Once upon a time, I met Jesus!
I may have thought of myself as a good person before. That’s When my standard was the world.
Romans 10:3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
Isaiah 64:6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
Now the standard could no longer be the world. Once I met Jesus the standard became Jesus. Now every hope of someday reaching that place was lost. No effort of mine could erase the bad things I have done and no future effort could possibly be enough to stand before Jesus and plead my case for the right to enter that place. I suppose had I not felt the unconditional, unexplainable, unmatchable love of Jesus, I would consider my chances completely hopeless at this point.
But I did! I did feel the love poured out for me like a tsunami enveloping my entire being.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), Ephesians 2:4-5
My happy ending, yet to come is guaranteed not by my own efforts, not by my own behavior, but by His grace through His love and mercy!!
Praise Father God, Lord Jesus and Holy Spirit!!
Now my final destination will be that place and through no effort of my own!
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
In a world where nothing is free and even the basic necessities of life come only through trading time and labor for money to pay for, grace is a hard concept to swallow. It’s to good to be true, is the first thought. Even the most giving of people always seem to have a price for their giving. I’ve heard them say the gift is from the Lord but come to church or lunch or something. Sometimes it’s a gift yet they mean to choose how it will be best used in your life. All small prices to pay for sure yet a price just the same.
This gift though, grace, Jesus death in place of mine, His suffering so I wouldn’t have to suffer, and all I have to do is say yes. Yes I believe and accept this sacrifice for my guilt, my wrongs. Then I also get to go to that place in the end.
Imagine, what kind of love is this? Love that would cause one to give up everything that’s rightfully theirs including their own life just to have someone like me say yes I accept you, yes I want to be your friend, yes I want to know you. It’s a love this world has never known. God who owns it all, Who’s all powerful, Who’s the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the God who created me and created everything this Earth has to offer for me, truly loves me. Even though I took for granted the very life He gave me, even though I turned away from Him, even though I loved the world instead of Him, He loved me so much He made Himself a man so He could be the true sacrifice to save me from that which I deserved. He loved me so much He took my punishment upon himself. What kind of love is this?
Honestly I don’t have a clue what love this is but I do know that I will spend the rest of my life seeking Him to find out. And at the same time, I will spend the rest of my life, singing His praises, for loving me though lost, so much, that I’ve been found.
Until next time may God bless you and keep you as you seek Him with your whole heart.