Greetings from the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii! I am vacationing this week with my husband and sons, enjoying a brief period of rest and praising God for His wondrous creation. I will be back next week!
In the meantime, I'm happy to introduce you to my dear friend, Kelly Grecco. She serves alongside her husband in ministry, loving the kids in our area through Youth For Christ. She's also the proud mother of two high school students. Today, she shares a few thoughts on grace. I pray that her words bless you.
Grace by Kelly Grecco
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift from God." Ephesians 2:8, ESV
I have heard this verse for years. I could have probably recited it for you for most of my teen and young adult years. However, I can not say that I truly "knew" this verse. I did not know it deep in my heart and soul where God wanted me to know it. While I could recite it, I never took in for myself the part about grace.
For most of my growing up years, I carried scars deep inside. If I had been different, been a better kid, been prettier or smarter, then my father would not have left. He would not have cast me aside as if I were worthless trash. He would not have made it clear that he wanted nothing to do with me. While I would never have verbally said any of these things, the scars were deep, and I believed what I had been told and shown. I was worthless. I was not worth his time. I had no value in his mind. While I knew, intellectually, that those things were not true, I still carried them in my heart.
When I accepted Christ as my Savior, I knew He could heal me of all of those thoughts. The problem was, because I believed them, I could and would not let Him bring them into the light and expose them for what they were. Lies.
Because I did not allow God to deal with them, I tried my very best to be good enough for Him. I tried to clean myself up so I could be acceptable. The problem with that is that none of us can ever be "good enough" on our own. It is only through Jesus' sacrifice that we can even approach Him.
So, God brought me face to face with this verse. He brought me face to face with grace. What is grace? By definition, grace is favor or goodwill; a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior; mercy, clemency, pardon; to favor, honor, exalt.
You see, because we are not worthy, God had to gift us with worthiness through Jesus. He did not owe it to us, we could never earn it, so He offered it to us freely–not because of who we are or what we have done, but because of who He is, what He has done and because He desires a relationship with us. He had to show me that, by letting Him deal with the lies that were poured into me and that I chose to believe, His grace could truly set me free.
It is not an easy process, believe me. It hurts. It is revealing of more than we sometimes even know is there. However, it is SO worth it. In return, God pours Himself into us and fills us with truth and His spirit. A gift of grace, of relationship and freedom that we can never truly imagine until we accept it.