The beauty of His grace is established in my life – where I now stand and walk and live – in freedom, in righteousness, and in holiness in Christ. Yet somehow, as I mature day by day in Christ, I still remember at times how lost I was without Him – how utterly devoid of life without Him. This remembrance does not mean that I focus on myself as being a sinner saved by grace. I see it as a revelation of how grace swept me up out of the reality of my lost condition without Jesus Christ. He set my feet on a rock that is sure and solid and real. It’s where I am – now!
My earthly father used to tell me that it’s good to know where you come from. Yes I know I am a new creation BUT I believe what my Dad said is true. Knowing where you come from, being gently reminded of that at times shows the beauty of grace in my journey of where I am walking now. It works so great for me. It’s not that bad to look at where we were without Christ – I just don’t live there anymore.
In seeing clearly this reality of who I am in Christ through unveiled eyes I am also thankful that sometimes I can also remember and see who I was apart from Him, without Jesus in my life. I don’t dwell or abide in the past, trying to procure divine favor day by day to secure my position in righteousness in the present. I know and see who He is and where I was and where I am. I don’t define myself as a sinner saved by grace in order to justify the beauty of His grace in my life now.
It’s like this for me- my take on it. It’s cool to go back to the old neighborhood in Chicago to see where I lived, the streets I walked, and the house I lived in. When I do that, because of the beauty of grace in my life, I usually respond with a simple statement. “Wow, God, you are soooooo good to me! You have brought me a long way!”
Grace is a journey – day by day by day. The journey is the reality of Christ Jesus revealing Himself to me in my relationship in Him and with Him. We are in that reality while at the same time walking in its expanding revelation throughout our lives. We are to enjoy the journey!
Grace does not establish me in a nebulous existence where I live on a ‘happy’ cloud, unaware of where I was, where I am or where I am going. Remember, grace is a journey in Christ. I can’t eradicate the fact that I was lost without Him, I lived under law and I am gloriously saved by His grace through faith in Him. That’s awesome!
Grace keeps me moving forward while religion wanted me focused on my past. Grace leaps into the future while religion wanted me bound to what I was. But both do not negate the fact that we can’t run away from the reality of how much we needed a Savior and He was there for us I don’t want to forget where He brought me from but I don’t use that as my point of reference as religion can and does do. I see where I came from and glory in the beauty of grace even though I am a new creation now.
The simple reason I am writing this is because I have found that when I faced my past and did not run from it but looked it straight in the eye, I saw reality. My reality without Christ. Then I shifted my gaze to Him and His love for me and in doing that grace became so precious and so real and so true. My past brought me into the reality of my now and my future in Christ and His salvation. Like I said, I don’t live there anymore but I can’t eradicate the memories of my life without Him.
So what am I saying? I believe at some point, when people are confronted with grace, they will have a meltdown in His love. It has to happen to each of us individually in some way or grace can become some nebulous ideology devoid of the person of Christ. Each time I look at my life, where I am, where I come from, where I am going, I don’t feel condemned in any way. I feel so grateful, so thankful for His grace and His love for me. Grace reached into my reality, into my life right where I was. I could not avoid facing that reality. Grace lifted me out of condemnation, out of guilt and I don’t have to live there ever again. But, like I said every now and then memories arise that show me how much I need him each day. That’s not a bad thing! It adds life, and richness and fullness to the journey so that grace is not something we just talk about but it is about our life in Christ! Real, experiential, honest, open, true, loving, full……and so much more!