Sunday, January 29, 2012

Only Grace

First, I must acknowledge that though I try to mix up the artists so that you get to hear a variety, this week I just have to share another Matthew West song.  Sometimes I know days ahead of time what the song will be for the week, but often I haven't decided, or I change my mind based on what I hear on Sunday morning at church and on KLOVE was the case today.

The song "Only Grace," is not a new one but it fits in so well with the sermon that I heard this morning and includes words about starting a new life which usually attracts my ears.  It's about losing the guilt and accepting the gift...

In Romans 5, Paul tells us about the sacrifice that God made for us, even though we didn't deserve it, we didn't love him, we didn't believe in him, we even sinned against him.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5: 6-8

Jesus suffered the most excruciating death for us, without us even knowing it.  His death has paid for our sins no matter what they are, and is bridging the gap between our sinfulness and God's purity.  It's like he is reaching out his hand to us and saying, "it's OK, I've taken care of all your junk, don't worry about it anymore, now come be with me." 

What's amazing to me is that he has given this gift  to everyone, to all of his creation, whether we know it now or not. 

In him we have redemption through blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavishes on us.  With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment - to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
Ephesians 1: 7-10

He wants to be connected to us, he wants to be with us, living through us here on earth.  As with any gift though, the receiver needs to accept it.  I pray that you have accepted it.  This gift changes your life.  If you have accepted it, are you still feeling guilty, unworthy?

There is no guilt here
There is no shame
No pointing fingers
There is no blame
What happened yesterday…has disappeared
The dirt has washed away
And now it's clear

The pastor in church today told us, "God already did this for us, it is done!"  and Jesus said "It is finished." (John 19:30).  God has given us this gift, he's not still thinking about it, still mulling it over to see if you deserve it...he already decided that you do!  So don't feel guilty about the gift, just rejoice that it was given to you.

You're starting over now
Under the sun
You're stepping forward now
A new life has begun
Your new life has begun

An’ there's only grace
There's only love
There's only mercy and believe me…it's enough
Your sins are gone
Without a trace
And there's nothing left now
There's only grace…

As we accept this gift we are faced with a new in which we aspire to be the children that God wants us to be, desire to serve our intended purpose, strive to show God's love to everyone around us. 

Unfortunately, even though we have accepted His Grace, we are still not perfect, not totally pure and we will mess up.  But His grace still lingers, it lasts, and so we can recover from our failures and keep trying to live the life that God wants for us.

And if you should fall again
Get back up, get back up
Reach out and take my hand
Get back up, get back up
Get back up again

My prayer for you today is that you receive God's grace over and over again.  Do not be plagued by guilt for receiving this gift or for feeling like you've failed God.  He forgives you, and wants you to accept His gift with joy.

God bless you all, have a wonderful week!

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