Reflections on Sin and Grace

But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14 (NASB)

We had communion in church Sunday and I was glad for it.  as I sat and listened to the Pastor talk about Jesus and His sacrifice for my sins and those sins of the people around me I was once again reminded, "I am not worthy of this."

In a world that is so focused on promoting how great we are, how wonderful we make ourselves out to be; I was profoundly thankful that I was reminded of exactly who and what I am: a terrible and wicked sinner in need of a Savior. My sin, were it piled up would reach to the outer limits of the galaxy and beyond.

My thoughts still run happily in the direction of wickedness, despite my 26 years of His life in me. Yes, He has changed me and yes, I am "better" than I once was but I am still far too sinful in my thought life. I remain critical and harsh, cynical and condescending... I am still so far from who I should be...I think.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellent and if anything is worthy of praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 (NASB)

My desires remain more worldly than I would like. Over the past several years I have trended toward simplicity, de-cluttering my home and curbing my desires for many things of the world.  This looks like having less and wanting less, buying only the necessities while still enjoying the fruits of our labor.

The greater concern I have are the spiritual desires. My heart is so fickle and idolatrous! I seem to chase one "love" after the next, despite my best intentions to read more, pray more, meditate more.  I follow my own way over and over again.

delight yourselves in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 (NASB)

I love this verse because it contains a hidden promise. As I delight myself in Him, I will desire my own agenda and my own way less and less. He will replace my selfish desires with His own and as this happens my desires become His desires. My heart will desire the things of God.

My beliefs have certainly changed over these years! I am convinced of the sovereignty of God, His perfect plan for each of His children, His love, His faithfulness, and His goodness. I believe He is exactly who He says He is and that He will do what He promises to do.

Then why do I doubt? Why do I fear? DO I truly believe?

If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe when I tell you heavenly things? John 3:12 (NASB)

I am not aware of a Christian who has not struggled with these questions of the heart. Our loving Father-God is so good to remind us of His faithfulness to us, in spite of our failings and sin.  Communion is always a precious time to examine ones heart and see what ugliness lurks there. It is a stark reminder of the blood and gore that paid the price for our sin. It brings us back down to reality.

It reminds us that we Christians need the gospel every single day. We need that cross...we need that cleansing blood specifically because we are not worthy. It is a blessed gift to us from Abba Father. We do not deserve it, we cannot earn it, we will never warrant it. It is all of sweet wonderful grace.

for the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NASB)