Experiencing Grace

Below is something I wrote a few months ago for myself and chose not to post. Today, in honor of #ThrowbackThursday, I decided to post it. I hope the journey inside my head is helpful to all who read it.

God’s grace is real.

It is a real, fantastic, life-giving, freeing thing to be experienced today.

I struggle with receiving grace. It is easy for me to give others grace, but accepting it is hard. Some of it is family background related; other parts of it are from my religious upbringing; other parts are all mime.

No matter how it shakes down, it is easier for me to shame and guilt myself then it is to sit in grace. It is my struggle; it is a burden.

I know grace saved me and Jesus is the one who did what I could not; I know I am a beloved child of God – but so often I feel I need to be perfect for that to be true. It has been the prayer of my season to sit in and understand grace in my life.

Tonight, I had the opportunity to attend the church that will always feel like home, where God did so much in my life, to celebrate Easter. I got to go back home to RockHarbor.

It was fantastic.

I do not get emotional in church much; baptisms excite me but do not usually get me emotional. Tonight during baptisms, however, I noticed something was up and stirring my soul. I needed to let God continue to work in that feeling.

I thought it was strange baptisms were awakening this in me – it is not normal. It was during worship response time that I realized where this stemmed from. For the first time in years I was tangibly experiencing and  feeling the grace of God.

It was powerful.

As this was happening I heard a voice telling me “Jonathon you are loved, just as you are, today. I have already made you perfect so you don’t have to be. Let go of your burdens and accept my grace that you already have.”

I was toast.

I needed this.

If you are like me and think you have to be perfect and think you will never be good enough, just know God already loves you. He already died for you and Jesus only had to die for you once. Grace is and wants to be poured out freely on you – don’t be so hard on yourself.

Trust me, being hard on yourself does not help anyone.

Let yourself sit in God’s grace today and see how it feels.

If you need some help, maybe pray this: “God, I know you are a God of grace and you sent your son, Jesus, to take my place and die for my sin. I struggle so often with thinking I do not deserve the gift you freely gave me, the gift of new life and salvation that you have lavished on me. Even though my head knows this, my heart feels the needs to earn and perform for you – that your grace doesn’t cover it all. Please help me to feel and understand your grace is enough; your grace is all I need. I want to feel your grace – tangibly – and stop living like I need to earn your love. Amen.”

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