What is grace to me? It is the freedom to be who I am in Christ Jesus. Freedom to speak up for the Gospel of grace and it be truth. (Galatians 1:5-7) It is a truth many to do not want to hear because it is not balanced with Law. Grace and law cannot be balanced and were not meant to be balanced. For we are not under the law, but under grace. (Galatians 2:21) I thank God that I am under grace because I cannot keep the law. ( Romans 6:14) Believe me when I say I tried for years. But after continuous failures and falls, I beat myself up daily and realized there would never be victory if I lived this way.
My pastor said this yesterday, “We are not living for the rules, but we are living for the Ruler.” For so long I tried to live by the rules doing it in my flesh and strength. Guess where it got me? In a pit of low self-esteem, depression, and sin. That’s exactly where this road leads. Upon finding out the truth of the Gospel ~ that Jesus forgave all my sin, gave me new life and I became a new creation ~ life began to change for me. I no longer felt the condemnation of never being able to live up to God’s standards and the standards others set for me. It became clear that Christ lived in me and He would live for me, if only I would let Him. (Galatians 2:20)
Life under the law leads to more sin. (Romans 5:19-21) Doesn’t sound right, does it? Here’s what happened to me. When I found I was free to be the woman God created me to be, I got excited about who I was and where I was going. I rested in the love of my Father, knowing I could never lose it. Joy overwhelmed me as I discovered my true identity in Christ. My love for my God grew daily because it was an overflow of His love for me. Sin became obsolete, a second thought. (Romans 8:9-10) Of course I still sin, but the knowledge of His love and grace hold me up knowing my relationship with Him has not changed because of sin. Then, when I understood Christ wanted to live life in and through me, I really began to enjoy Christianity for the first time in 20 years. (Colossians 1:27)
When Christ lives life through me He takes the burden of it all and leads me in the way I should go for each circumstance. He is my voice, my eyes, my heart, my actions when I allow Him to do His marvelous works through me. Many times I find myself standing in awe and praising my God because of the things He has done. I cannot boast or take credit for anything that He does for eternity through my life. (1 Corinthians 15:10, Galatians 6:14)
Life is an adventure with Jesus as life because I never know what’s next on the agenda. I know He has purpose and plans for me, and because I love Him so and know His love is unconditional, I am willing to go along for the ride.
He is strong in me when I am weak. I know I cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit, but He can and when weakness comes, if I am surrendered to His will, He becomes my strength in every situation I encounter. (1 Cornthians 12:9)
Honestly there is no way to live a full, abundant life other than through His grace. Under grace there is an understanding of just how monumental and complete God’s forgiveness is for me. (Colossians 2:14) And in this understanding I am able to give forgiveness and grace to those around me. Under law, I hold each one accountable without releasing the burden to Him and therefore suffer unforgiveness, which eats away at my very soul. Grace enables me to give, give, and give some more because it is not me doing it, it is Jesus in me.
Today I am in a perfect relationship with my Savior and God. Not because of anything I have done, but because of everything Jesus did. He finished it all, paid it all, and gave His all for me and you. His grace is forever; it is real, it is perfect, and it never fails.