“But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace..." Galatians 1:15 NLT
Grace meaning- God's influence upon the heart, His unmerited favor.
When we look back on our lives, most of us can recall that defining moment when God spoke into our hearts His calling. We heard and responded with, "Yes, Lord, I will follow You."
The decision to follow Jesus may have been made fairly recently for some and in childhood for others. Perhaps, the Lord spoke into your heart as a teenager, and you have followed Him ever since.
Maybe your life was one of rebellion and heartache as you attempted to outrun the grace of God, thinking your plan was better. It took you a while to admit you needed Him or to believe you were somehow worthy of his love after the life you lived.
Whatever the case, here we all are today. We meet here because we have one thing in common; we have children or loved ones who are running from His grace.
No, make that two things in common. We meet here because we each believe that God's grace will make a way for them to come out of the darkness that holds them captive. Grace will make a way back to the light of His truth.
Chosen by God
Before we were born, God chose us. Before our family members were born, He chose them. Our husbands, our children, our parents, our sisters and brothers, our grandparents, He chose each of them and called them to Himself.
As a child I was called, while still in my mother's womb. Each of us was called before birth to become a child of God. We did absolutely nothing to earn His favor, but we were precious to Him. He wanted relationship with us. He called us by name.
The Lord does not hold against us what we did in the past, and for some it was some pretty bad stuff. In love, He saw us through His eyes. He placed grace upon us and, in doing so, He restored us. We are forgiven.
We can now walk with our hands tightly wrapped around His fingers. We can't let go because He won't let go. Think back to your childhood, through your adolescence and young adult years, to your present.
What has God brought you through? What choices did you make you wish you could change? Do you have any regrets?Would you change anything at all, especially if you knew that in changing that one event, your life may have had a uniquely different outcome?
What if the hard things, the years of rebellion, the pain and the grief were all permitted and not prevented as part of a divine plan to bring you to this place of grace? For it is here, in this beautiful grace, we find unconditional love.
Here, our Creator reveals His heart for us, a heart that celebrates reunion. Though we were lost, now we are found by Him. This is the relationship He so desperately longed for, the one He was willing to die for. Why? Because to Him we are...priceless.
He feels that same way about our wayward children. He loves them. He wants them to come back to Him. For our spouses who seem so lost, so distant, His love can reach them. For family members who seem callous and unmoved, His Spirit is wooing them. He longs to pour his unending grace out into their hearts and lives. He is relentless in His pursuit and has no intention of giving up. Nor should we.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God—” Ephesian 2:8 NIV
Grace removes the cloak of condemnation, guilt, and shame our wayward family members have worn for so many years. It offers a fresh start to all those who will receive it. The next time the enemy lies with words that say they are a lost cause, give up and stop praying, reject those lies and remember grace.
"God answers the mess of life with one word: "grace" - Max Lucado