“The one-way love of God meets us in our failures. Our failures make His one-way love that much more glorious.What qualifies us for service is God’s devotion to us — not our devotion to Him… the value of our lives rests on God’s infinite, incomprehensible, unconditional, love for us!”
-One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian
What a relief that is! So many times I weigh myself down with the pressure of being the best, being enough. Thoughts stroll through my mind that say, “your not cut out for this, they’re more qualified than you, you messed up, way to go…how are you ever going to be used in the Kingdom.” But isn’t that the beauty of the gospel in the first place? God doesn’t call perfect people who have it all together, he calls the lost, the hurt, the broken, the ashes among us and turns us into a new and beautiful creation that could only reflect his glory.(Matt. 9:9-13) Galatians 1:15 tells me that he set me apart before I was even born, and then in my sin and my shame he called me by his grace! If only I could wrap my mind around His relentless love for me.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
I am nothing without Christ. But in Christ I have been made new, holy, blameless, and an ambassador for Gods kingdom. Wow!
In One Way Love he talks of a story found in John 21. Peter, who was previously named Simon, denied the Lord three times. Three times! After he persistently said he would never deny him. During this scene in John, Jesus has pulled him aside and asks Peter three times do you love me? Peter responded yes, Lord you know that I love you. How could he not, Jesus pursued him even after his denial. Jesus refers to him as Simon instead of Peter each time he asks him this question. The name Simon reminds Peter of who he once was and who he now is in Christ. We would think, with our mere human minds, that the next scene to follow would include punishment, disappointment, anger…but what does Jesus do instead, the exact opposite of what any of us what do! Peter messed up, and i mean he really messed up not just a little oops,. Not only does Christ forgive him and continue to use him as a disciple but he entrusts him with even more responsibility. Please tell me how many times that’s going to happen to you at your job. It’s not. Jesus tells him to go “Feed my Sheep.”
That my friends is the beauty of the gospel. We don’t have to walk on our toes fearing each mistake we will make or have made. God has called us and God will use us even in our inadequacies and shortcomings. Because of my love for Christ I no longer desire to walk in the life and sin that I used to live, but because of Gods grace and love for me I don’t need to live a perfect life and place myself under so much pressure to measure up in order to be a servant of Christ. It is Christ in me and through me nothing of my own doing. God continues to mold me and grow me in Him daily, and even though I don’t always enjoy it, he chooses to use the hurt and sin of my past to shine his Glory into others lives. You see it’s our messy stories that make Him shine so bright, its his redeeming and relentless love that draws us in. He is the only one who can satisfy our soul and hold the weight of our worship. You don’t have to be a picture perfect person to be an ambassador of Christ, there is no such thing. But take heart Christ has overcome all of your mess and if you stand confident and firm in all of his holiness and glory, then He will continue to bring you from one glory to the next.
Now the question is what would it look like for us to take the freedom and love that God has placed in our lives and share that with our friends, our neighbors, our schools, our parks, our communities, our cities, out states, our world? Well to be honest I don’t know if the world is ready for the kind of love but I know that is what each and everyone of us so longs and desires for. So my challenge to you is to take heart, Christ has already overcome you are made victorious in him. Because he has overcome we now have the confidence and freedom to share his love to the ashes around us that long to be made new and beautiful in Christ.
Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Free. Be HIS!