There are times when I get complacent or comfortable in my current life. Who am I kidding...this happens more often than not! I go day to day not really doing anything dangerous, not stepping outside of my safe bubble (that I've carefully made for myself over the past 5 years) and not really reaching out to very many people when that's the calling I have as a follower of Jesus. I am to love God AND love people but am I really doing that to the best of my ability? If I'm honest, the answer is no.
I stay around the people I know who are comfortable and I use my excuse of being an introvert as my reasoning that I am not "going to new people" but let's go back 6 years to 20 year old Valerie. I was the person who needed something in my life other than drugs and alcohol and it was going to take someone to come to me, I wasn't going anywhere. I needed a real friend, I needed to know there was something more...I needed Jesus. I was indeed a wretch and I needed love and grace.
I was a lowlife.
I was a criminal.
I was an outcast.
I was despicable.
I knew the life I was living wasn't doing me any good but I also didn't know how to stop doing it. Stealing, manipulating, and lying were how I got ahead, how I stayed on top and in control. But I don't do a good job of playing God. Actually, I'm really bad at it! When I think that I'm in control of anything I'm usually humbled to the point of realizing that I have no control and that it was silly for me to think that I did.
"The grace of our lord was POURED out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance; Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the WORST of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his UNLIMITED PATIENCE as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life." (1 Timothy 1:14-16)
I don't know if you caught that first bold word there or not, but in case you missed it-- God POURED his GRACE onto me. He didn't sprinkle it...he poured and continues to pour because I'm human and I need his unlimited patience because I am still a sinner.
Grace is a hard thing to understand for me. I try to comprehend it and I can't wrap my mind around it to even begin to explain it but I did search the internet thinking maybe I could find a good way to put this together and this is what I found:
Definition: Grace is God's unmerited favor. It is kindness from God we don't deserve. There is nothing we have done, nor can ever do to earn this favor. It is a gift from God. Grace is divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration (rebirth) or sanctification; a virtue coming from God; a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine favor.
So because of Jesus and God's grace THIS art making WRETCH is saved and for that I am so thankful. I get to live eternally because He died the death I should have. Grace is an amazing thing and I love this print. It's on my desk now and is my reminder of where I've been and the life change that takes place with Jesus.
"My chains are gone, I've been set free. My God my savior has ransomed me.."
You Are BEAUTIFUL, Believe It!