GRACE: THE MIRROR WE ALL NEED
In my previous blog post, I referenced the struggle so many of us face in accepting God’s grace, master this gift given by God to us and grant it to others. Today, I would like us all (including myself) to look in the mirror. What do you see? Are you pleased with what you see? Do you struggle? Do you see the chosen one, the royal priesthood you are? (1st Peter 2:9). I want to use this medium to encourage you and tell you that what you see, is not who you are. Grace has transformation power; Grace is everlasting, and Grace is with you throughout the journey of your life. Remember, the person you were five years ago is not the same person that looks in the mirror right now.
Everything within the Christian walk is personal, but also meant to be an aspect of you that affects everything around you. The reason the message of the cross is relational. The bible teaches to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:39), but what do we do when we do not understand this principle? Many of us believe that once, we have committed our lives to Christ, serve in church, memorize bible verses and do everything else that “defines” the aspects of modern Christian living, that we are doing the right thing. To be honest, what really separates you from a person that is categorized to be living in sin, and your heart posture is still not right with God?
A lot of us have fallen into the trap of being “over-righteous” and placing judgment on homosexuals, rapists, murderers and the list goes on. It is so easy to place judgment on someone who sins different than you do while there are sins you hide, but God sees. How easy it is to forgive our siblings for committing the same sin for which we crucify others. God did not give us Grace as a gift through his son to become over-righteous, judgmental and unrepentant people. He gave us Grace to have access to him and affect as many lives as we can through living our lives in dedicated worship.
This pandemic has taught us all, that anything can change our lives in the blink of an eye. We all had to reschedule, adapt, refocus and reshape ourselves to adapt to this “new normal” of living. I have been overwhelmed with a lot of things, some stem from work, classes I take, and personal situations that I am believing God to see me through. And then I stumbled over a sermon I decided to listen to, and the preacher said “You cannot do anything without God’s grace, be it your job, your marriage, dealing with people in church etc. He went on to further state that, when you begin to list these things in your heart, you’re becoming arrogant, and you contend with God”.
I paused. I sat back, and I was ashamed of myself because my duties of life had overcome me so much. I did not notice that I had become so discombobulated with tasks, and it became a strain of arrogance. So, I repented, right there and said, I am sorry that I have been so ignorant of your Grace. Isn’t it funny, how we take the simplest things for granted? Attribute them to us, unknowing that indeed it is Grace, that strengthens, empowers, encourages, gate keeps us from the enemy who likes to creep in and ultimately tries to mirror everything that GOD is NOT. Truly, I felt awful, but I was grateful that God led me to this message, however He was not done. (now I laugh about it)
I had some downtime and I scrolled through Instagram. And there was a parody I was listening to. The video was about a pastor that stated, “Holy Spirit sit on me, so I won’t sleep with another man’s wife”. There is no additional back story regarding why he said it, but this comment struck me the most, as others went ahead to make jokes of him “The prayer you need, is not the prayer you are proud of”. Here I am pausing again. The statement remained with me till today. And I could not agree any more with it.
We all have sides of us that we are not proud of (the moment we choose to be honest with ourselves) and these are the most difficult prayers to pray. Grace is brutally honest with us. And the truth is, God catches us in the moments you least expect it. The moments we are most vulnerable, the moments our heart is open to receive His truth. The truth that humbles you into reference of his grace and love. The truth is, we are not better than anyone else in the world. We just have recognized that we cannot afford to live without God’s grace.
Please be encouraged! You are the light of the world – like a city on the hilltop that cannot be hidden! (Matt 5:14). You are not what the world calls you to be, you are not what you think of yourself, you are what Grace calls you to be. Yes, with every single unpleasant part of you! Grace covers it all. And that is the reason why you are tremendously loved by God so much, that He was willing to give His only begotten son, to die for us. I believe, once we understand the power of love, to do this first for ourselves and have Grace have His way in our lives, we will all understand that our personal relationship with Christ is the unstoppable force to win the heart of others for Christ.
Serve in love, not for love!
Have an amazing week,Bolanle Boyewa