Good morning and happy Sunday! I feel like it’s been ages since my last “Scripture Sunday” post, and for that I’m so sorry. Writing these posts is truly my favorite thing about this blog, I love having a platform to share the things God is teaching me. Today I’m finally sharing a new installment in this Scripture study series and I’m excited for you to read it! This verse has been so significant for me lately as I hold myself to a standard that I often fall short of. Enjoy!
Ephesians 2:8-9; 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.
Growing up in two households of families that go to church every Sunday, attending the 10:00am service each week feels like more than a routine, it’s part of who I am. Even when we’re out of town, we often go to a relative’s church. Missing a service, while this has never been explicitly said by anyone in my family, makes me feel as though I’m falling short in my faith. Just last week I spent the night at a friend’s house with plans of going to church in the morning, but I overslept. I beat myself up over missing church all day, even though I attended a Bible study that evening. When I miss church, wake up late and don’t have time to read my Bible in the morning before school, or even skip weeks of writing these “Scripture Sunday” posts, I feel like a failure.
The truth is, I’m falling short in more ways than just missing religious activities, we all are. Whether it’s a white lie, falling into temptation in a high school relationship, or stealing something at the grocery store, sin invades our lives constantly. We’re affected by sin every day, and if it’s not our own sin it’s the sin of someone around us. We can easily see the brokenness in the world, from divorce to mass shootings. So if we’re all constantly missing the mark, how are we ever supposed to be deserving of heaven?
We aren’t. The cool thing about Christianity is that our God isn’t tallying our good and bad actions to determine whether or not we’ve won the game of life and earned a spot in heaven, He’s wrapped up the gift and has His arm outstretched towards us. All we have to do is accept it and begin to live a life affected by that choice, believing that it makes a difference. Recently I’ve been loving Ephesians 2:8-9, which says “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.”
Grace was defined to me by a YoungLife leader at camp a few years ago as “something the giver knows we don’t deserve, but gives us anyways.” This definition was followed by the example of baking someone a cake after they punch you. The “cake,” or gift of eternal life, is given to us by God even though we “punch Him,” or lie and skip church and cheat every day. All of our sinful acts are like a slap in the face, but His hand never flinches, still outstretched for us. No one, not Mother Theresa or your saint of a childhood Sunday school teacher, really deserves what He gives us, but that’s kind of the point.
How crazy is it to think of baking someone a cake after they hit you? No, not one of those cakes with something sarcastic and vicious iced on top, but the best cake you’ve ever baked. Imagining receiving that from God is such a vivid picture to me of how recklessly He loves us. I’m so reassured knowing that there’s nothing in my life I’ve done or will do to earn His love and the eternal life He gives. What’s important is that I’m trying. What’s more important is that He still gives eternal love and life to the full regardless of how many times I mess up. Remember this when you’re beating yourself up for a comment that came out ruder than you meant for it to or when you sleep through your church service.
Thanks for reading! Have a blessed week!