Have you ever made a regretful decision or tried to live your life outside of God's will, only to look back at what took place with confusion about what you were thinking when you made those choices? I certainly have, and I suspect we all have. Even though we know Christ, we can still make very poor decisions, particularly if we're treating the tempting influence of sin too casually. Why do we do what we don't want to do?
When parents have babies, they’re often worried about bringing them to church. They wonder if people will be disturbed if they cry. They also know it can be quite difficult to get a child ready in the morning in time to get to a worship service on time. It takes an extra dose of patience and effort to pull it off successfully.
We belong to someone who loves us. Before we came to know Christ, we were unhealthy, without hope, convinced we needed to fend for ourselves, and resigned to the fate of an outcast. But now, Christ has redeemed us. He has cleansed us from our sin and given us new life. He has also given us His name and a permanent place in His family. In Christ, we are shown that we belong, and we are relieved from our attempts to survive on our own. Romans 7:1-6 explains additional details of the benefits we are blessed with as those who belong to Christ.
Light is useful. Light is something we need. Light defeats the power and effect of darkness. Jesus is the light that has come into this word, and He lives within all who trust in Him. As He lives within us, He enables us to walk in the light while He also radiates His light through our lives.
Getting directionally lost isn't pleasant, but living in a spiritually lost condition is even worse. It was because we were spiritually lost that Jesus came into this world to find us. Many people were critical of Christ's willingness to seek the lost, but Scripture shows us that Heaven rejoices when the lost are found.
Humanity experiences spiritual, relational, emotional, financial, and physical brokenness every day, but Jesus delights to heal broken people. He finds us in the condition we were in, then offers to do something about it.
Imagine if you lived in a context where you felt like no matter what you did, you were never going to be accepted or welcomed? For many people, that's the way they would characterize the bulk of their daily experiences. They feel unloved and can give you many examples of how they've been treated like unwanted and unappreciated outcasts. That was certainly the case during the days of Christ's earthly ministry as well. But Jesus didn't avoid the outcasts. He offered Himself to them and gave them the opportunity to become part of His family.
Commitment and faithfulness are traits the Lord makes visible in the lives of those who trust in Him. When we come to a place of genuine faith in Jesus Christ, a transformation takes place in our lives. Instead of running away from God, we embrace Him. Instead of ignoring Him, we strive to hear Him. Instead of disobeying Him, we find delight in obeying Him. That obedience becomes the most obvious mark of our genuine faith in Him.
God is giving us the opportunity to do a "rewrite" with our lives. Prior to coming to know Him, we were spiraling downward, bent on defiance toward Him, and idolizing our own ideas as if they were superior to His omniscience. We were lost, and we didn't really want to be found. But through Jesus Christ, we're now given the opportunity to experience a full rewrite of our life story, and the story that He's crafting is a masterpiece.
Grace is an undeserved gift. When we're shown grace, we're given a blessing that we didn't do anything to earn. Displaying grace is a wonderful trait to practice in life, but there is no greater example of it than the grace we have been shown by God through Jesus Christ. In fact, He wants our lives to abound with His grace. But to fully appreciate the depth of His grace, it's helpful to understand just how bad things would be for us without it.