By Grace...

So these past two weeks have been filled with follow up appointments.
Where I get to meet with awesome girls on my campus who are interested in Cru (our Christian student ministry). Most of them have been eager to get
involved and grow in their Christian faith and that makes my heart fill with joy.

However, there's one thing that has really stood out to me. Most of them are not 100% sure of their salvation and whether or not they would go to heaven and be with God for eternity. They list reasons why they think they would, such as going to church, trying to put God first, one girl even gave me an extensive list of volunteer and service hours that she has done. Hearing them give me these answers over and over again breaks my heart. I see their desire to please Jesus, but they are missing the most beautiful, amazing, and freeing parts of the gospel! These girls are all missing GRACE! They feel as if they have to live up to some "Christian standard", be a good person,  follow God perfectly etc. in order to stay at that 100%.

As I've been talking with them, and explaining to them the beauty of grace, that we can never get to God on our own, all of our good deeds will never be enough BUT God is gracious and loving and came down to save us. Jesus died on the cross for our sins as a free gift so that we could be forgiven and have a relationship with God. My heart desperately wanted them to understand and feel the freedom of knowing our position in Christian.

Later after one of my meetings I realized that maybe God was using all of these encounters with these girls as a reminder for my own heart. I know all of these truths, but how often do I slip back into the rut of perfectionism and trying to earn my favor with God. He wanted to remind me that these truths are not just for these girls that I am talking to, but that they apply to me as well. That yes, maybe I have failed or slipped up in some ways lately, but that does not affect my identity in Christ, or the fact that God loves me unconditionally and I am his beloved daughter. Instead God wanted to use these girls to remind me to look up and find my perfection in Christ and not myself and rest in his work instead of striving in vain on my own.

Just like my heart hurts to see these girls not understand grace, God's heart hurts when I don't live in the freedom of that grace. Now that I know and have experienced true freedom, why would I ever want to go back to the weary days of perfectionism? Lord help me believe that my perfection is found in you alone and that your grace is there to cover all of my failures, that no matter how many times I fall and mess up you are right there to pick me back up again and remind me of who I am in YOU!

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." -Eph 2:4-9

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