We often believe the lie: I AM WHAT I AM. I CANNOT CHANGE. I AM HOPELESS. This kind of thinking leads to shame, despair, depression, passivity, loss of creativity, isolation and withdrawal from others. Those who think this way feel inadequate and inferior and escape into destructive habits and addictions.
This is the last in a series of four articles dealing with the grace of God, based on Robert McGee’s book, The Search for Significance, (2003 Thomas Nelson). McGee, the founder of RAPHA, makes the bold proclamation, I am deeply loved, fully pleasing, totally forgiven, accepted, and complete in Christ.
What is God’s truth? I AM A NEW CREATION, COMPLETE IN CHRIST. That’s what the Scriptures say. Christ perfects me. No matter how I’ve failed, with Christ living through me I am complete in the sight of God. Without Christ, I am just as flawed as the world claims me to be. Here’s a short Biblical painting of God’s grace:
What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! (2Cor 5:17) Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father (James 1:17) For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:10) Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Phi 4:8-9) Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psa 42:11)
What does this mean to a Christian? I will guard my thoughts. I will turn away from the lies and distortions of the world and focus on Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I choose by faith to see myself as God sees me. I surrender all control to the Lord. He will transform me. I will no longer experience the pain of shame.
The proud resist the grace of God, but I am completely dependent upon the Lord. I am thankful that I recognize my limitations and shortcomings—they make me rely on the Lord. God’s grace conquers my rebellion. I am grateful. I am content.
May the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit fill your heart and keep you focused on Jesus Christ all the days of your life.