This morning, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I opened up my Bible. Not even a Bible study or a devotional app, no, I opened an actual Bible. I read Romans 3-5, and was reminded of truth long forgotten.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-25
“Where then is boasting? It is excluded.” Romans 3:27
“Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all.” Romans 4:16
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:5
Christ died for the ungodly. Life in Christ is a gift, and there is nothing I have ever done to earn it.
There have been times when I’ve felt like I really had my shit together. A couple years ago, I went to church every week, I was in small group, I was a Young Life leader, I led a Bible study, I volunteered at Sunday school, I spent all summer ministering at camps, I consistently woke up an hour earlier than I needed to for quiet times each morning- you name it, I did it. I was a good Christian.
Right now, I’m lucky if I manage to squeeze in five minutes of a devotional before work. I’ve spent over a year unwilling to commit to a church, I stepped down from leading Young Life, I’m not part of a small group, I don’t lead a Bible study or a campaigners group, I’ve spent more nights downtown than I have in church pews, and I’ve opened my Tinder app more frequently than I’ve opened my Bible. (Yes, I have a Tinder account. Humility at it’s finest.)
If there was ever an ungodly woman, ever someone undeserving of the love of Christ, ever anyone with no reason to boast, right now, that’s me.
This morning, I was reminded that this is the version of me Christ died for.
Christ did not die for the version of me who has all of her shit together. Christ did not die for the Sunday school volunteer and the righteous Bible study leader. Christ died for this mess of me, the one who has no good works to boast in. There is no good work I can do to earn this life in Christ, and that truth has never been as powerfully realized as it right now, my empty hands outstretched to the Lord. My cards have all been played, and I am left kneeling at the shore of grace, knowing that I will be welcomed home.
Jesus, you died for me when I deserved it least. I still don’t deserve the life and redemption you have given me. Let me cling to you and you alone, give me no reason to boast. Continue to remind me that there is nothing I have ever done or can ever do to earn your love and redemption. I am saved by grace and grace alone. Thank you, Lord Jesus, that your faithfulness is bigger than my own.