So if you met yourself when your kids were as young as mine (4 and 1), what would you tell her?
If you haven’t read Part One in this series, click here.
Take a minute and read this passage out loud. Savor it. I hope this one puts a smile on your face and the joy of the Lord in your heart.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10
I want so much for you to be walking daily with Jesus, that I’m afraid I’m pushing you too hard. And when things are hard, you’re be tempted to do it in your own strength. And the thing is, Kim, it is too hard for you to do it in your own strength. You’ll only be able to walk this narrow road of faith as you trust in Him and believe in the mercy of God who loves you and gave His own Son for you.
Remind yourself daily that you were saved by grace, through faith, and that none of this is your own doing. It is not the result of works. You can’t earn God’s favor. You will never deserve His love.
It’s the other way around, Kim. While you were dead in all your sins, while you were a child of wrath, while you were the chief of sinners, God demonstrated His love for us, the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us, sending His own Son, to die for us that we could be forgiven. Wow! This is the good news of the gospel.
It’s so easy to get this mixed up.
Remember that God created you. Not the other way around. You are HIS workmanship. He created you in Jesus for good works, not because of them. As Paul wrote to Timothy, God “saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.” (2 Timothy 1:9 ESV)
Before the ages began, Kim. Before you’d taken one single breath. Before you’d had the opportunity to do even one good deed, He saved you and called you. Because of His own purpose and grace.
Now, walk in that grace, by that grace. Give that grace to others. Pour out on others the grace and love that has been poured out on you. Trust Him with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. He’s got the whole world (that includes you) in His hands.
By His grace,