All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
If you came to visit me at my house, you’d learn a few things about me just by walking into my kitchen. First, I’m not a big fan of cleaning. Having three little kiddos running around makes it hard to keep things super clean and I don’t like doing pointless things. Second, I love coffee! I have a really big coffee mug that I got on my one trip to NYC in 2005. It’s my favorite and never far away. And third, I love books! I have a corner hutch in my kitchen that is supposed to be for keeping fancy dishes, but it’s full of books instead. I have one shelf of currently reading and another of to be read. But no matter what historical fiction, Christian living or doctrine book I’m reading, my Bible (or Bibles) is always top of my pile.
Why is the Bible never far from me? It’s because I look to it as a manual for living. It applies to every point of my life and every struggle I’m facing. And for the past almost three weeks I have been following Wendy Blight’s “Living So That” book on how to make faith-filled choices in the midst of a messy life. Wendy has continually pointed me to scripture in a new and refreshing way. But I know that Wendy is not the one working in my life. It’s the Spirit of God moving in my life, renewing my mind and transforming my heart.
Now you may think that I’m crazy, and that’s okay. But I want to share one of the many very simple truths that have blown me away, and I hope will be eye-opening to you as well.
Jesus came so that I might know how to live a blameless life. He faced temptations just like I do and yet continued to follow His Father without hesitation. Wendy shares some insight in the first chapter titled “Jesus Came So That…” which literally make me stop and feel like I have had an revelation.
“In one of His last acts, Jesus forgave the thief hanging on the cross beside Him and told him he would be with Him that day in paradise. It didn’t matter to Jesus what motivated this man’s confession. Jesus still forgave him. He forgave him knowing he would never study the Bible, never impact the kingdom, and never bring another to Christ. What a wonderful, beautiful reminder that you and I do not have to do anything to earn God’s grace. It’s a free gift. Grace does not depend on what we have done, but on what God has done for us.” (Living So That, page 15)
Isn’t is amazing to think that all the “good Christian stuff” I do or try to accomplish really doesn’t have any impact on the grace that God gave me. It really is “Amazing Grace”! Does that mean that I shouldn’t do anything with what God has given me? Absolutely not! But it does mean that all I have to do is accept what God sent Jesus to do for me.
Are you needing that grace today, my friend? Are you seeking to check the “good Christian things” off your list to help you achieve or accomplish what God has already given to you?
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 (NIV)