I wonder if you’re ever like me. Standing in church with your brothers and sisters, trying to sing songs about acceptance and forgiveness. Of the holiness of the Lord, and of what Jesus endured to save his people.
And feeling like deep down you’re not sure it can be true of you. Is it possible for love and grace to cover the darkest parts of me? Am I being a hypocrite standing here (or even worse, up front playing) when I know my life is so messy?
My current bible reading book is called ‘New Morning Mercies’ by Paul David Tripp. This morning, this was what it said.
Here is the bottom line: sin kidnapped our worship, and grace works to restore it to it’s rightful owner- God. It is only when God is in his rightful place in our hearts that everything else is in its appropriate place in our lives, and only powerful Grace can accomplish this.
My big problem is I look just at me. ‘Navel Gazing’ as an old pastor used to call it. I look at how much I’ve messed up every part of my life in the past week/years. I treat God as if he were everyone else around me who I feel I need to prove my worth to in order to deserve love and acceptance. (Hashtag people pleaser)
When the reality is He already knows me inside out. He knows my failings but he also knows that I know I need him. My faith may be small, but it’s there, and in His eyes I must believe that is enough.
The next quote is a big one, but how amazing to think what Grace actually could accomplish in our lives..
God’s grace can make you more financially wise.
God’s grace can make you a better citizen and neighbor.
God’s grace can cause you to be more responsible with the use of your body and more sexually pure.
God’s grace can help you to make better decisions in life.
God’s grace can assist you to communicate in a way that is less selfish and more loving toward others.
God’s grace can help you to think more about the future and rescue you from living just for the here and now.
God’s grace can make you more thankful and a better steward of what you have been given.
God’s grace can cause you to be a wiser and more patient parent.
God’s grace can help you to forge a healthier marriage.
God’s grace can enable you to be more honest with yourself and more forgiving in your dealings with others.
God’s grace can make you less anxious and more courageous.
God’s grace can give you a reason to get up in the morning even when things aren’t going well.
God’s grace can pilot you through disappointment and give you joy even when you’re suffering.
God’s grace can enable you to remember what is worth remembering and to put away what you need to forget.
God’s grace can make you more compassionate and less bitter.
God’s grace can help you to know you are loved even when you’re alone and to know you have strength even when you are weak.
All of these things are the beautiful harvest of grace. All of these are things for which we should be eternally thankful.
If the ultimate goal is a life spent looking less at my failings, and more at his complete success. Less feeling guilty and unworthy, and more full of joyful, grateful, grace-ful worship to the one who truly deserves it.. that seems pretty good to me.
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, oh take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above