Holy week. A week we remember why grace is so amazing.
It was Good Friday. And I was deeply grieved.
I was making lunch and asked Charlie to get my computer from upstairs. He grabbed it, put it on the sink (about to fall in), and I found the cord left haphazardly left across my dining room. This is not what I wanted.
If I asked Charlie, he probably would have said that he did exactly what I asked. But the thought of my computer cord being ripped out of the wall (because let’s be real, you know he didn’t take it out carefully) and putting my computer by water, was not my hope here.
And I know that this is a reflection of my “works”, apart from faith, for Christ looks like. Maybe doing what He asks, but making a big mess along the way. And then maybe covering my big mess or excusing my big mess because “He loves me”.
Why Is Grace So Amazing?
Grace is not a free pass to sin. it is giving us something we don’t deserve
For years, I abused grace, because I “knew” it was always going to be there. That is really hard to admit when I can look back and remember the times when I would sit in church wanting to “look” good in front of others. My sin didn’t grieve me, even though He was constantly showing me that He was always calling me back. In my heart, I boasted that He would always be there “when I was ready to run back to His arms”.
I was using grace as an excuse for my sin, when grace should have been an invitation to repentance.
The worst thing is that when He freed me from the weight of my sin, I chose to keep living my life like He hadn’t freed me at all. It was like He was looking me in the eye. He knew everything I have ever done, and took the weight I was carrying anyway. But it didn’t change how I lived my life.
I remember the moment I realized I couldn’t fool God. That night I sat in church pews as “Open the Eyes of my Heart” played, and I proudly sang because I knew it. That night the same pastor that met me with compassion as God removed the weight of my sin, was the same pastor that looked me in the eyes and said “you tell everyone what they want to hear”. And the English translation of that was “you’re trying to hide your sin behind pride”… and “you can’t fool God”.
3 verses about grace
Here is a tough question that I want you to answer honestly. Are you using grace as an excuse for your sin or have you been grieved by your sin to the point of accepting His grace?
Before I go into what I have seen in the life of Jacob, here are a few of my favorite verses about grace. These verses don’t leave room for interpretation!
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives, Titus 2:11-12
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 14:6
Why Grace is amazing.
We have this view that grace is amazing, and a sure pass to salvation. But Grace is only offered to us and just because it is offered, doesn’t mean we accept it as ours.
We forget that we don’t deserve grace, because we expect it. We forget that God is a just God and that we deserve the death that Jesus got.
This is amazing grace. Jesus died on the cross for our sin. For the ways we will never be good enough. So that we didn’t have to cover our sin in our pride. And so that if we approach God’s throne in confidence we can experience His grace.
What’s so amazing about grace is not that it is an excuse to sin. It’s amazing because it is a gift freely given to us, that we don’t deserve. Not because of our works, but because of His promise.
Grace is ours if we turn away from sin and say “no” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and live upright and godly lives.
So about Jacob….
“I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness you have shown your servant… Please deliver me…” Genesis 32: 10, 11 (paraphrased)
The story about Jacob is one of the most beautiful in scripture. When you begin to read his story, it doesn’t look good for him. If you were to put bets on who was going to be the hero of the story, it definitely wouldn’t have been Jacob. From the womb he was deceitful, always wanting to be first, and doing anything he could to do so. You can read his story weaved throughout Genesis 25-33. Manipulation, lies, and scheming plans were basically his middle name. He was the last person that you would expect a story of redemption from.
But that is his story. Redemption, and not because he deserved it. He knew he didn’t. And he admitted that and he clung to God even when God told him “Let me go”.
“I will not let you go until you bless me.”
Well, that is bold coming from a guy with a sinful past, who knows he doesn’t deserve God’s grace. And he doesn’t boast about God’s grace. He begs for it. He is clinging to God, because now he knows he is nothing without Him.
And God changes His name and he ends up being the father of the 12 tribes of Israel.
What’s your story?
Have you ever been grieved by your sin? I remember the day I was. It was at a church service. I can’t remember what the message was about, but I remember having to leave because I couldn’t stop crying being absolutely heartbroken by my sin. How could a loving and good God ever have compassion on someone like me?
And the truth is, He shouldn’t but somehow He does. And I remember that same night, I was met with His forgiveness. His love and grace covered me. And it turned my tears of grief into tears of peace and joy.
He will meet you with His unfailing love too, when you come to Him in heartfelt repentance. You just have to run to Him knowing you don’t deserve His love, but clinging to Him anyway with every ounce of hope that His promise is true. And that somehow, His grace and love will change your tears of grief into tears of peace and joy.