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Saturday, April 4, 2020

My Awakening to Grace

My Awakening to Grace

You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
—Romans 8:15 (NLT)

         I remember the morning I realized the Grace of Jesus had taken care of every issue in my life—had supplied all my needs—had healed me in ways I had never dreamed. It was not when I believed Jesus was my Savior, or even when I became filled with the Holy Spirit. This awakening to His Grace had been growing through the years. I began to understand Scripture as never before. Jesus revealed His love to me right through His Word. 

         “Abba” means father in the Hebrew and Aramaic languages. It is a name that reveals child-like trust. “Abba" is often translated as "daddy."  When God is our Abba Father, we have a trusting child-like faith in Him. He is a loving "daddy" to us. We can trust Him with everything.

         I use to have problems with the fearful picture of God of the Old Testament being the same God that was my loving Abba Father. I could never reconcile the God of retribution in the Old Testament with the God of Grace in the New. Then one day, I again read Romans 6:14: “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace” (Romans 6:14, NLT). 

         The Holy Spirit began a journey of revealing His truth that unfolded over the next two years. I grew to understand that Grace had fulfilled the demands of the law. I didn’t need to carry shame as payment for sin. I didn’t need to struggle with the fear of punishment from my God. I didn’t need to try to balance law with Grace in my mind. Jesus had made the payment for my sin. My struggles to be righteous were missing the understanding of the Cross. Jesus was the pivot point. The Cross had taken care of all sin for all time. Jesus had given me His righteousness. When I believed in the gift of His life for mine, I became free from the bondage of the law. I was no longer under law. I was under His Grace.

         I also read, “If you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law,” Paul wrote, “you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace” (Galatians 5:4, NLT). 

         How long I had dealt with feelings of guilt and shame of not being good enough! How long had I tried to make myself right when His death had made me right! When Jesus said on the Cross, "It is finished," there was nothing more for me to do but believe in Him and allow the Holy Spirit to do the work in me. Repentance wasn’t scourging myself with feelings of shame. No longer did I need to beat myself up when I failed. If I tried to make myself right with God, I would be cutting myself off from Christ. Struggling to make myself right wouldn't keep me from falling back into sin. It was falling away from the understanding of what Jesus had given me. The Holy God of retribution in the Old Testament gave way to the God of Grace in the New. 

         God became my Abba Father of love and forgiveness. He adopted me as His child when Jesus died for me. The love of the Cross opened access to my Father. I discovered a deeper intimacy and trust. I found that His discipline was never harsh but made as a loving parent guiding His child in spiritual growth. I understood that the gift of His Grace was freedom from the feelings of shame, which had bombarded me. I was free to receive His Grace and love as never before. And with this awareness, I experienced His peace and joy. I believe now in His Grace alone, and He continually guides and reveals His love to me. I experience His peace during times such as we are going through right now.

         If you are living in fear, search His Word, and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth of His Grace to you. You don’t have to live in fear of punishment. You don’t have to live in fear of failure and losing His love. He is no longer the God of retribution. God is love. You, too, can grow in your understanding of Grace. I would suggest that you take time now to make your journey of faith. Awaken to the love of His Grace!

         “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 (NIV).

         His truth is Grace.

© 2020 Lynn Lacher

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