For each of of the next 21 days, I will be sharing specific ways believers can set themselves apart for Christ through prayer, fasting, and intentional focus. Yesterday began a three-day series in "setting yourself apart because of..."
I really am a miserable human being.
Every single day, I behave selfishly. I put my own needs before others, and I look out for my own comfort more than the legitimate needs of those around me.
I covet and am jealous, am impatient and unkind, and want what suits me rather than what builds Christ's church.
I am a wretch.
It's only when we stop to consider how undeserving we are that grace truly begins to look amazing.
Grace, according to one source, is God's gift to us that is "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved" (The New Dictionary of Theology).
Not one of us humans would deliberately set out to give good things to people who have cursed us and rejected us. We would never desire to spend time with those who mock us or show spite in the face of kindness. We just wouldn't - but Christ did.
You and I have, in our sin, rejected Christ. We have behaved wretchedly to the One who only loved us, and we deserve to have Him turn his back on us and leave us without hope.
We deserve damnation, but because of grace, that totally unexpected and undeserved gift, we have a hope and a future.
Because of grace, we are free from sin's shackles.
Because of grace, we have seen His glory.
Because of grace, we have been saved.
Amazing grace, indeed.
Today's Prayer: "Father, I confess to you my innate wickedness. There is nothing good in me, and even my good deeds are like filthy rags. The only hope I have is your spirit in me, so I beg you today to fill my emptiness with more of you. Remind me often of my true condition and help me see the wonder that your grace really is. Not only that, but help me to share its wonder with those who don't know! Grace like this must be shared, and I pray that I will be a testimony in all I say and do."