5 Reasons to Focus on Grace Everyday
I was studying the Bible at Prairie Bible Institute in Canada, and I was miserable! How could I be so unhappy? I was finally preparing for missionary service. I was following the dream God put in my heart. Why the depression and discouragement then?
I Did Not Understand Grace!
I did not understand grace. That’s the answer. Plain and simple. Not understanding grace and studying God’s Word put tremendous pressure on me to be and act like a saint, a very loving and kind Mother Teresa-type saint. Yet I felt like a horrible sinner. How can you live up to what the Bible says you should be?
The Bible condemned me. That’s how I felt. That was a lie from the pit of hell.
Romans 8:1 is the truth: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I didn’t get it. Not yet anyway.
I looked at the Bible through the lens of law. I focused on me and not on Christ and what He had already done for me on the cross.
Of course, I believed that Jesus had died for me. I just could not stop feeling condemned for who I was and the sins I still committed. Sins like being unforgiving and bitter and acting in unloving ways with my attitude, behavior and words.
I did not need to try harder. I didn’t need to rededicate myself to God. I needed to understand and receive grace.
“Either we live under pressure to grow, or we celebrate grace.”
(Dr. Larry Crabb, Finding God, Page 132)
For many years as a Christian I lived under pressure to grow and to change. That was miserable bondage. Thank God! He set me free!
Can you relate to what I’m talking about? If you can, let me tell you, there is freedom!
The process to understanding grace for me was a long one. The Holy Spirit, the Word, books about grace, and loving relationships with people taught me grace. In fact, they still teach me grace.
Can you imagine the change that would take place if you and I focused on grace everyday? Wow! What a daily celebration that would be!
Five Reasons to Focus on Grace Everyday
These reasons will motivate us to seek to understand and receive grace everyday. Here are 5 of many reasons to focus on grace everyday:
1. To develop a trust relationship with God instead of trying to live a Christian life on your own.
2. To enjoy an intimate relationship with God instead of running from Him.
3. To live a life of freedom instead of living in legalism (under law) or license (taking sin too lightly).
4. To understand our worth in God’s eyes instead of living in shame and self-hatred.
5. To pursue God Himself who is grace instead of seeking to fix ourselves.
How does this work out in real life? Let me explain further.
When I didn’t understand grace, the focus was on me fixing myself. I was driven to work on myself so that I would be acceptable to God, others and myself. I had to feel good about myself.
And how did that work for me? Of course, it didn’t. I couldn’t make me into who I thought God wanted me to be. Shame and self-hatred controlled me.
A focus on grace frees me from the compulsion to make myself acceptable. I already am! The truth set me free! Free to pursue the relationship with God that my heart longs for. In that relationship, God changes me.
Can I forget and start working on myself again? Sure! I can forget who I am and feel pressure to change. But when I remember grace, I celebrate all that God has done. He changes me as I trust in Him.
What are other reasons to focus on grace everyday?
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