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COSTA CALIDA ARTICLE - MAY 2014
“I’ll never be good enough”, “it can’t be that easy”, “I’ve done too many bad things for God to love me”… if I had been given a Euro for every time I have heard comments like those above!
But nothing is further from the truth. Sadly, many people today have been birthed in an understanding of God as a judgemental, waiting to catch us out, frowning on everything we do and ready to beat us over the head with a big stick, kind of God. People have grown up and lived their lives with this wrong idea of who God is… no wonder it is hard to accept God into our lives when we know that we are bound to fail; but I have some good news, and that news is encapsulated in one word, GRACE, [God’s riches at Christ’s expense]
Grace is such a wonderful word that can be life-changing if fully understood. You see, it takes everything away from us having to do things to make up for our shortcomings, and places all responsibility squarely on the shoulders of Jesus. It takes away the heartache of us working our socks off to make amends for our failures in this life… that is legalism in its truest sense and we could never do enough. So many people believe that they have to earn their way into heaven and life turns into a carousel that turns around and around on an axis of work, which makes their future solely based on what they can achieve and not on what Jesus did for them on that cross at Calvary. It was on that cross over 2000 years ago that Jesus paid, once and for all times, the price for our waywardness; as His hands were stretched and nailed to those timbers, all our shortcomings, past, present and future were removed from our shoulders. Now that is good news.
God’s grace and love stepped in to take the responsibility off us to try to be good enough and place that responsibility on His precious Son, who was good enough. It reminds me of some of the lyrics of that old hymn ‘There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin’. The message has always been there but we find it difficult to accept unless WE have done all the work to make it happen, but sadly many in the church are of the opinion, ‘it can’t be that easy’
Grace is a gift and we need to take hold of it and unwrap the present. In the Bible in Ephesians Chapter 2 verse 8, it says “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God”. God did not wait for us to get ourselves right… He made the first move… He always does… His grace is sufficient for all of us.
In 1973 I started work in Lichfield, U.K, and met a guy who became a firm friend. For over 30 years we did business together, played football together and had meals together. He knew my background, my faith in God and was never critical of what I believed. All through his life, my friend had to fight for what he wanted to achieve and against all odds he made it to the top of his tree… you see, he firmly believed that he had to do all the work himself to succeed and he did not need God in the equation, anyway, for him it was ‘just too easy’ to receive Christ into your life and let Him put things right ! Amazingly, five years ago, my friend did receive Christ into his life and he let God’s GRACE take away the pressure to make it in life.
The recession has wrecked his business and he has struggled with many problems; coming to Jesus has not been a bed of roses, but he is totally involved in his church and committed to letting God’s grace take the strain.
If life for you is tough and all you are tying to do does not help to ease the situation, can I recommend asking God to pour His grace into your life… receive His grace today.