March 15, 2017

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 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. – Ephesians 2:4-8

It is amazing to me that God’s grace is so difficult to accept.  Not that others struggle with the gift, but that I myself struggle to receive this incredible gift that God has given.  No, I don’t struggle with it often, but there are times that I do.  There are times that I don’t believe that I am deserving, or worthy, or whatever else I can convince myself.  But that is what is so amazing about God’s grace.  I don’t deserve it, but because of Christ and what He did for us all, I am worthy… because He is worthy.
Receiving God’s forgiveness is tough, because I am so reluctant to forgive myself – to see myself as God sees me.  This is something I work on consistently, because it is so important.  As I learn to forgive myself, and to see myself as God sees me, I am even more ready to receive God’s grace and forgiveness.  As I am able to live in to these realities, I am better able to share God’s love and bring hope to the world.  I am better able because now it is not just something I do, but a part of who I am.
I hope that I continuously view God’s grace as amazing.  Not because of struggles, but so I can continuously rejoice in its power to transform lives, mine included.
Rev. Jeremy Sanders, Pastor of Program Ministries