I don’t know how many of you struggle with not feeling good enough, but it has been a thorn in my side for my entire life. It was almost a stumbling block between me and salvation. I didn’t think that there was anyway that God could possibly forgive me! My poor self image and my awareness of my sinful nature was so before me that for some reason I thought that God would accept Hitler before me.
Now no at the age of 13 I had not caused the death of anyone or tried to take over the world, but all the same I felt so unworthy that I was certain that no one even God could possibly forgive me for my sin. It took a long time to realize that it wasn’t a matter of worth that got me into the kingdom of heaven, but a matter of grace.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. – Titus 2:11
The passage that really settled it for me and gave me assurance of not only my salvation but my position in Christ is Ephesians 2:1-10
1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work is those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature an following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
What comforted me about this passage is many things and I’d like to break it down for you. First of all, as I’ve already mentioned I was keenly aware of my sinfulness, which made me feel totally unworthy of anything God could have for me. In Ephesians 2:1-3 it talks about our sins and how we were dead in our transgressions and how all of us lived this way as by nature objects of wrath. When I read that I thought this Book gets me. This is exactly how I feel.
Then came verses 4 & 5 “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” I could hardly believe my eyes, God loved me and not only that he had rich mercy on me. Though I was dead in my transgressions God chose to make me alive in Christ. By grace I was saved. What a generous God. It was almost more than my eyes could take in. My heart was pounding with joy as it is now reliving it.
As if He knew that I needed the added message of what my position was to help me with my self worth, He goes on to tell me that He/God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, amazing.
So that we don’t get it wrong we are reminded that it is by grace we are saved, through faith, and this not from ourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. This keeps me in the right frame of mind humble because I know that I need God for everything.
Then the writer does us the wonderful blessing of letting us know what God’s purpose for us is. Verse 10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Isn’t it wonderful we know what we are here for to do good works that God has already prepared for us. That means we need to keep in communication with Him so that we don’t miss out on our purpose. Since He has planned them out in advance it would be foolish to just go around and do any good work that might not be the one He is wanting you or I to do. Open communication is crucial for us to know what it is that we are to be doing to stay in God’s will. Anything else is pride.
Lord thank You for Your Word and for Your will and plans. Forgive me for my times of pride when I’ve charged off and done things on my own will whether I thought they were for You or not, I was sinful not to come toYou first. I ask you to forgive me of the sin of my pride and help me to turn to You first. In the sweet name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.
A Woman After God’s Own Heart!