Grace means that all of your mistakes now serve a purpose instead of serving shame.
Grace has found me in many places. Grace has found me crying in the parking lot of Waffle House, my car loaded down with everything I owned and afraid to call anyone for help because of what people would think. Grace has found me in the floor of an Iowa hotel room, drunk, crying, scared, and wondering how I’d gotten where I was at. Grace has found me in the middle of the night, driving back roads, wishing that I could just drive through the night and never look back. Grace has found me full of shame and taken that guilt away, and that Grace has shown me that everything I’ve walked through now serves a purpose. It took me a while to realize that Grace is what saved me. It’s hard to accept that Grace would choose to look at my heart and see someone with a purpose rather than a filthy person. I think that a lot of times when Grace chooses to intervene on our behalf, we feel like we are being judged or looked down on. But it’s actually not like that at all. Instead, when Grace shows His face, this is His calling on our life to get completely right with Him. And He does this so that He can bring to us the blessings that he has for us which are peace and joy and love. When we accept this gift of Grace, it isn’t a sign of weakness. Grace is made sufficient for us and HIS strength is made perfect in our weakness. That’s a promise He has given us. When we accept Grace, we are a new creation. Old things pass away and we are made new in Him. I don’t care how disgusting your sin is or has been, there is always a way out. Not in our own strength or by things we do. It’s only made possible through His Grace. It took me a while to figure out that the more I accepted this Grace and the more I walk in His will, the more of His blessings I experience, and the more freedom I feel. There is no condemnation in Him.
We are called to be holy. When we accept this gift of Grace, we are expected to live a life that pleases Christ. Are we perfect just because we accept His Grace and salvation? Heck no. We’re human. Being holy is NOT BEING PERFECT. A few weeks ago in my devotions, I underlined this: There comes a time in all of our lives when we are desperate to know that God is close and that He hears our prayers and will answer. Now is the time to start living righteous, pure, and holy lives if we want to see our prayers answered in the future. PEOPLE ARE DRAWN TO HOLINESS BECAUSE IT IS ATTRACTIVE. Holiness is not something you slip in and out of like a nightgown. Holiness is God’s will for our lives and something God has planned for us from the beginning.
When we walk in the grace and mercy of Christ, He doesn’t look at us and see a bunch of stains. When we accept His grace, we are washed clean. And when we allow this Grace to live inside of us, we can begin to walk in holiness. I love what my devotions said, that holiness isn’t an outfit you wear. It’s not a bunch of “standards” and requirements being shoved down your throat. Living a holy and pleasing life means people see Christ in your smile. They see a difference in your attitude towards people. They see kindness. They see forgiveness. They feel the love of Christ.
If you’ve been given Grace, and all of us have, it is our duty, our responsibility to share that same grace with those around us and to live a holy life, one that is pleasing to Christ. So this week, show grace. Show mercy. Show kindness. Show love. Show Christ.