Monday, February 11, 2013

Guest Post: On Grace

Hi friends! My sweet blog friend Stephany is guest-posting here today on what grace means to her. I hope you enjoy it! Feel free to leave your comments below, and be sure to check out her blog!

 “Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.
Mercy is not getting what you do deserve.”
Grace is Jesus dying on a cross for me. It is all my many sins and of Jesus forgiving me each and every time I fall.

Mercy is the fact that I can enter Heaven simply because I believe in God. Not based on my works. Not based on my actions. Just because I believe. Even though I deserve a death on a cross.

My pastor is the one who said the above quote and it’s a phrase that has stuck with me for over a year. From that moment forward, grace and mercy became the cornerstones of my faith. I grew up in church so they were words I heard over and over again, but had no real connection with what they meant to me. They were just “Christian-ese” words that you spouted when you wanted to appear holy.

Then I heard the definition of these words. I grasped hold of them. I tucked them next to my heart. And at age twenty-four, I finally began to understand what faith was. 

Since then, I’ve been so intrigued by these concepts and they have held so much meaning to my life. They have been what I am striving for. They have picked me up when I have fallen. They have comforted me, held me close, gave me relief.

For me, my faith stopped becoming about being perfect. It stopped being about my actions and all the ways I needed to be “good” for God to love me. Because He already does. He loves me with a crazy, incredible passion and I am never going to earn this love. I am never going to be good enough for it. He showers me with love, grace, and mercy on a daily basis because that’s His heart. That is who God is.

Even when I deny I know him. Even when I do things I know I shouldn’t be doing. Even when I pretend He doesn’t exist.

He’s still there. His love is still alive and beating in my heart. His grace is still abundant, his mercy anew every day.

It’s an incredible thought. It makes me want to sit up straighter, pay more attention, learn more about the heart of God. 

Grace. Getting what I don’t deserve. God’s love. Something I don’t deserve. God’s forgiveness. Something I don’t deserve. 

And yet. I have it. He gives it away. Freely. It feels like a warm blanket to my skin on a cold winter night, something to bask in and understand this is God’s heart.

I don’t deserve grace. I don’t deserve mercy. I don’t deserve God’s love. And while we, as humans, feel like people have to earn our support and love and do so much for us (or maybe that’s just me?), God has a different M.O. He gives freely. 

We could learn a lot from Him, wouldn’t you say?

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