I serve a big God. I serve a God who's so big, He breathes stars. I serve a God so big, He holds the entire universe in His hand. I serve a God so big, He sees everything, everywhere. In fact, my God is so big, He exists outside of time. And this God died for me. This God actually died. For me. Out of love. Because He wants to spend eternity with me. He doesn't see my mistakes, my failures, my insecurities, my sins. He only sees His child. But here's the thing: Sometimes I don't see God's love for me.
Sometimes I see Him more as a mean cop than a gracious God.
Do you know what I mean? If I'm not careful, my mind transforms God into this mean, merciless cop who is constantly writing speeding tickets for going two miles over, all the while grinning wickedly and laughing. The sin in me warps my mind into believing that God is a compassionless law enforcement officer who cares more about making me pay for my sins that saving me.
But praise God because that is NOT who He is!
The reason I think like that is because I don't understand grace. I don't understand love. It's too much for me to imagine a God who can forgive me of my sins. I've always been led to believe that God expects us to be perfect, and when we sin, we should sweep that sin under a rug, cover it up, and move on, because it isn't right for a Christian to sin. I feel like Christians should be above lying, lust, envy, gossip, insecurity, pride, etc. I've always believed Christians should somehow be perfect.
Since last weekend, I've been finding out differently. In my post Identity, (in which I was more writing about grace than identity), I began to realize what grace truly was. I still don't understand it, but grace has been transforming my mind. I'm seeing for the first time that He doesn't expect perfection out of me. He expects obedience. He expects us to love Him first and others above ourselves. He expects us to live our lives purposefully for Him. But He doesn't ask for us to never ever sin again.
That seems so contrary to how I've believed for sixteen years. But it's so true. That's why He came. It's why He died. He didn't die for us to be perfect. No, He died to give sinners a way back to God. It's all about grace. It's for love, yes; forgiveness, yes; redemption, yes. But grace is those three things wrapped into one awesome package. Grace is God's way of saying, "I love you so much that your sins don't matter to me. My love, my forgiveness, my obsession for you are so much bigger than your sin!" Grace is how God was able to bridge the gap between us and Him. Praise God, for grace has a name: that name is Jesus Christ.
I love grace so much because through grace, God is able to acknowledge my sin. I no longer can say, "But you don't know what I've done" because He does know, and He's even already forgiven me. God wants my life to be lived for Him in the fullest, without hesitation and without regret. And I want the same thing. I can think of no better way to use my one life than to be loved and love a God as gracious as mine.