For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
I grew up in the church with Christian parents, but grace wasn’t emphasized very loudly in my life. I learned a set of rules, a ton of do’s and don’t’s for my life, and let me tell you, I worked really hard at trying to live up to that. After all, I did want to make it to heaven. I couldn’t mess up. I had to walk the line. And I sure would judge you if you weren’t walking the line.
Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
So eventually I messed up, and I messed up big time. My world was crushed in that one moment of weakness. Everything I had “worked” so hard for was gone. I felt like it didn’t matter anymore. God could never possibly love me again, right? But I was so wrong.
It took me almost five years to understand how wrong I was. It wasn’t until I faced the idea that I might lose my daughter that I realized how out of control of this life I am. When I first got the diagnosis that I would never bring my firstborn to term or even to life outside the womb, I knew that nothing I did short of turning to my Savior was going to change anything.
Galatians 2:16 says, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, for by the works of the law no faith shall be justified.”
In other words, it’s all about a relationship with Jesus. You can’t do enough “stuff” to win your way to heaven. There’s a song by Jason Gray called “More Like Falling in Love” and the chorus goes like this:
It’s gotta be more like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
It’s like I’m falling
It’s like I’m falling in love
You can listen to the rest of the song here.
That song speaks so clearly in my heart and through the years, I have learned that this journey is about a relationship with Jesus. It’s not about a set of rules or things we shouldn’t do. The amazing thing is that through a real relationship with Jesus, you don’t want to do those things anymore! You are changed through His grace and mercy into who He designed you to be and He gives us the power to overcome temptation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to go live your life however you want to. I’m saying that you can’t live a life for Jesus if you aren’t truly following and trusting Him.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Trust me, you won’t stay the same if you are in a real, true relationship with Jesus. However, if you’re trying to live by a set of rules, you will fail miserably.
If you’re out there and this idea of grace is foreign to you, let me introduce you to my Savior. Come fall in love with Him today.