Well, God did a significant number last night in bringing some clarity to a lesson called Grace. I mentioned yesterday I was teaching this lesson for our Celebrate Recovery group last night. Before teaching the lesson we sang in worship the song: “Lead Me to the Cross.” In the chorus of it the words tell us about the grace God gives from Christ going to the cross. As the chorus ends the words tell how Christ leads us to the cross so we too can give love/grace. This song is teaching the same message as the lesson. I told the group I’d always seen Grace as something God does in giving it to us. The lesson’s purpose is to connect grace with our making amends. When we do amends with ones we have hurt in our past we offer them grace without expecting anything in return. God gives us grace even while we are still sinning. This kind of love is what He wants us to offer when we offer amends.
Harder than all of this is that I CANNOT do anything to earn or achieve the worthiness of grace. Oh how I’ve tried! I’m finally to the point where I don’t automatically step into work of the day hoping it will be worthy of God’s expectation. This action of mine has been in my subconscious all of my life. I’ve never achieved it, but I’ve always had hope I’d get there someday. Well, I’m finally to the place where this truth is sinking in.
Now I want to tie this morning’s bible reading into this new clarity. I was reading Ruth. In it we know that Ruth accompanied Naomi back to her homeland after Naomi’s husband and two sons die. Ruth goes with her and the other daughter-in-law stays in her homeland. As Naomi gets to her own people they greet her by name and she tells them to change her name to one meaning bitterness. God has been harsh to her and her life has become one of bitterness. Joyce Meyers, at this point, has a footnote in the text explaining the work of bitterness in our lives. Bitterness has deep roots in us. When we let them grow by not addressing them Satan will use them to entangle us. We begin to develop all kinds of character defects/beliefs which are not true. One of these character defects is sense of worthiness. Bitterness breeds self-defeat. I write this because I’ve spent my life battling this and working to find worthiness. God has tried to give me grace but I hadn’t ever accepted it as a gift for in my eyes I wasn’t worthy of it. I HAD to earn it for the sake of worthiness. All of this became abundantly clear today.
I thank God for having me teach last night’s lesson, having our worship leader choose the song he did, and having me read Ruth this morning. God is faithful to the end. I want to be this kind of person for Him too. How Great our God is!