It’s very difficult to really understand. The rest of our world doesn’t work like this. It’s totally counter culture.
You and I have a tough time accepting the fact that when we put our faith in Jesus, God forgives us for all our rebellion and self-centeredness and attempts to do things our way. He loves us unconditionally – not because we are good, but because he is good.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift from God – not by works so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2: 8 & 9.
I memorized this verse many years ago and completed several Bible studies about God’s grace until – gradually – the truth sunk into my soul and changed my perspective. I started to understand God’s grace. I started to live in God’s grace. When my heart and mind finally accepted that it was a free gift – nothing I could earn – my relationship with God flipped upside down. I stopped trying to be good enough and started living in gratitude for everything God has done for me.
I was raised in a Christian family in a small town in Iowa. There were a lot of rules for Christians in this small town – what we should wear, what we could and couldn’t do on Sundays, how often we should go to church, and the list goes on. And everybody watched each other very closely.
When I moved away and matured, I realized that this was a fake, man-made way to ‘look like a Christian’. I now know there is nothing I can do to earn God’s grace – Jesus did it all. As I learned to love God without rules, he transformed my heart and my thinking which caused many outward changes to my behavior and priorities. I gradually ‘looked more like a Christian’ because I was growing closer to God – nothing fake about it.
God’s grace was difficult for me at first to understand and accept, but when I ‘got it’, it rocked my world.
Thank you for your grace, Abba Father.