It is with joy and gratitude that I share a guest post with you this week. I have introduced Erica Lee to most of you before, and I can never say enough about this wonderful young woman. She is the one who keeps the website/blogs/social media going and growing, and she has her own beautiful story to share.
Today's word is one of my favorites: GRACE. I love how Erica thinks about and receives grace and makes it come alive for us in this post. Thanks for welcoming Erica's encouraging word this morning!
It’s a Saturday morning and I’m driving down my favorite street lined with trees. The colors of autumn usher me into a new season. Heading to my favorite coffee shop, I feel the pangs of guilt and shame. I remember how I messed up yesterday. I made the same mistake again. I turn on my worship playlist looking for comfort and reconciliation. But, the Holy Spirit had more for me.
Americano in hand, I began my study on Galatians. The grace of God knocked me over. Flattened. Here’s why.
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ…” Galatians 1:3 NASB
Paul’s simple greeting to the churches of Galatia remind me how grace washes me. Through faith and standing in grace, I am reconciled to the Father. The Greek word for peace found in Galatians 1:3 is eirēnē. It means the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God as well as peace between individuals.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul uses the same Greek word,
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2 NASB
Grace neutralizes and obliterates my sin. There’s not even trace evidence left. And, I’m in right standing with the Father. The peace is not a subjective emotional state. It’s a fact, a statement. It cannot be changed.
“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel…” Galatians 1:6 NASB
As I read Paul’s word, I felt shocked by the strength of this language. He is amazed because I desert Him. I’m not just leaving, but I’m rejecting his grace. A grace that restored me to the Father. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he says,
“He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One.” Ephesians 1:5-6 CSB
The recognition of my unfaithfulness stings. But, there is good news. His grace is still available by faith. The Father wants to lavish his grace upon us. Will we let Him? Will I let Him call me by grace back to Himself?
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles…” Galatians 1:15-16 NASB
Be encouraged. For a time, the world knew Paul as a significant player in the persecution of the Church. But, grace covered even his sins. And, he became an apostle and kingdom builder. A mouthpiece for Christ.
Do you feel unqualified for your calling? I do. I frequently battle feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy. But, there is grace. Grace for your deepest errors. He called you. You are not without error. But, you are also not without the grace of the Living God.
Stand in Him. Believe Him.
Give yourself grace. You are forgiven. Grace covers you.
Satan is a liar.
So, on an early autumn morning, I let grace wash over me. My sin to never to be remembered again. What a freedom there is in being an heir of the promise! A child of God. Redeemed as Ruth. All the praise and glory to God our Father!
Guest Writer, Erica Lee