Kimberly Kendall: 1 John 2 & John 5:19-24
My whole life I have struggled with the concept of grace. My brain can define it, but my heart has a hard time embracing it. I like to earn my way in life; I take pride in being the good girl, the conscientious student, the person with the clean driving record!
To me, grace feels like not studying for a test, showing up and bombing it, but the teacher saying, “It’s okay, I decided to give you an A anyway.” What?! Nooo! I would go to that teacher, profoundly apologize and beg for a chance to retake the test. I didn’t deserve an A, and I couldn’t accept it without feeling guilty.
So when John begins this chapter with, “I write this to you so that you will not sin,” the Enneagram 1 in me goes, “Woo hoo, I like this guy! Teach me how to obey the rules and get all the sin out of my life!”
But I need to ask myself the deeper question; “Why should I obey Him?” To prove that I am good and worthy of a relationship with God? Or is there more?
John doesn’t say, “Obey God so that you have a chance of winning His acceptance.” Am I trading in my desire for feeling worthy for a deeper relationship with God?
It is good to obey Him, but I often find myself doing it for the wrong reason; to quiet that inner voice that is always asking, “Am I good enough?” Instead, God wants us to obey so we can enjoy the fullness of an unfettered relationship with Him; so we can “truly be made complete,” “live forever” with Him, “remain in the Son and in the Father” and “be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming.”
God is not grading my test; He is offering me an eternal, loving relationship that has already been paid for. May He continue to teach me how to humbly kneel before Him and reap the beautiful harvest that comes from accepting that grace.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
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