Written by Colleen W.
I’ve cracked the code! I now understand the full measure of God’s love and grace. Man, how I wish I could write that blog. I am happy to say that at Grace Church I am on the right track.
From a doctrine perspective I was a blank slate when I came to Jesus in my early twenties. I wasn’t raised in a religious household and didn’t have deeply embedded thoughts about proving myself to a God who is making a list and checking it twice. My first real Bible teacher, Tom Murray, taught a study called “Milk to Meat” that echos the loving message we are blessed to hear at Grace Church. Tom taught that salvation is about Christ + nothing. Not Christ + good behavior. Not Christ + tithing. Christ + confession. Not Christ + (fill in the blank). Nope. Jesus did it all.
I may not have had religious baggage to shed, but I do have a whole heaping lot of emotional baggage from childhood trauma and abuse. For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt like I wasn’t good enough. Left unchecked, my inner dialogue is decidedly unkind. In my mind, my every misstep is exaggerated, every success downplayed.
One of Pastor Clark’s recent sermons really hit home for me. He was talking about agape love and how Paul writes in the beginning of Ephesians that he is thankful for their faith and love of people. Pastor Clark then goes on to explain that the reason Christians sometimes have a hard time giving unconditional love to others - and are prone to focusing on condemning behavior they disagree with - is because they haven’t fully received God’s unconditional love. These are earnest believers who are held back from experiencing the full measure of his love by their performance-based thinking.
Boom. That hit me between the eyes. Not because I have a hard time loving others, but because I have such a hard time feeling worthy and loving myself. And while I may not be operating with performance-based thinking, believing I need to “do right” in order for God to love me, I certainly seem to believe that I need to “be right” to be worthy of His love. All these years and years of thinking that I’m not good enough hold me back from receiving God’s full measure of love for me. It’s so simple, but so powerful.
Since that sermon I’ve been pondering this incredible truth: God loves ME (not just people, but me specifically) just as I am. Wow. Who would imagine that the remedy for all this pain is to simply accept God’s unconditional love? I may not be there yet, but I’m on my way.
Have you ever struggled with the feeling that you are "not good enough" for God's love and attention? Our prayer is that today you allow yourself to receive the full measure of his affection and goodness towards you. You have always been good enough for Him. Christ's sacrifice is proof of that! All there is left for you to do now is to receive this truth and just "be". Go ahead and rest (and celebrate) in His love and in the freedom and joy that comes with having unlimited access to the author and creator of love itself.
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WRITERS GROUP/ GRACE JOURNAL
Part of Grace Church’s heart and mission is to inspire an awareness of the finished work of Christ. We are driven to help others deepen a renewed understanding of the finality of our Savior's sacrifice. As believers, we celebrate and share in the privilege of being an active and significant part of HIStory - The Jesus Narrative. We have been given a unique opportunity to share this narrative with others through insights of a grace engaged culture. Using powerful individual stories collected and woven together with the common thread of Christ, our hope is to display and honor the personal and ardent love that our Savior has for each of us.
It's our sincerest hope and desire to use the Grace Journal as an inspirational teaching tool, a demonstration of a life lived in the knowledge of our identity in Christ, and as a resource for our church family as well as those outside of our church.
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