Strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules. Hebrews 13:9
When it comes to grace, people usually go wrong in one of two ways. We either think that we’re too far gone for it and dismiss it. Or we take it for granted and abuse it. While they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum, they’re actually just two different expressions of the same problem:
They both view grace as weakness.
The first group lives as if grace is too weak to rescue them. The second group lives as if grace is too weak to transform them. Both are wrong. Grace isn’t weakness. Grace is power. It is power to save and to transform. To cover all of our sins and remove them from our lives. To get you off the hook and to get you into the zone of transformation. Check this out:
1 Corinthians 15:9-10 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
I love that. First Paul relates with those of us who think you’re the exception to God’s grace. If there was ever a candidate, it was Paul. Not you. And apparently his sin wasn’t too powerful for God’s infinitely more powerful grace. And neither is yours. Then he comes in and punches those of us who abuse it in the mouth. God’s grace is not without effect. Grace isn’t just a cheap perfume you splash on to cover the stench of your sins. It’s the power to change your life from the inside out.
Grace is power. Power to save. Power to live right. Power to talk right. Power to walk right. Power to give. Power to forgive. Power to do anything God calls you to do in His name. Power to pray. Power to overcome.
Paul could have lived in perpetual guilt for what he had done. Or he could have taken advantage of what God had done for him. But he didn’t. And look at what he became. You have the same options. Embrace the power of God’s grace and imagine what you’ll become.