Read |Romans 3:9 - 25|
As a child my week was very well structured: Monday through Friday was school, Saturday we went to the beach and on Sunday we went to church. I remember one Saturday, sitting on the sandy shore of Hellshire Beach, building sandcastles with my cousins. We were not just content to build beautiful sandcastles. No, we were in competition to see who could build the biggest and tallest sandcastle. In our pursuit to build our grainy skyscrapers we diligently displaced sand from the beach with our electric pink plastic shovels and made piles, on either side of our bodies, before moulding them with our hands into towers. I also remember the great frustration we experienced as the waves would come crashing into our efforts, leveling the playing field. How would we be able to measure who was the best? How would we come to the conclusion of who deserved more ________?
As it was on that beach several years ago, so it is in our lives today. The dissatisfaction with merely finishing a thing-even a thing of beauty. The hunger inside that propels us to feast on accomplishments as determined by the relative successes of others. The feast that moments later appears as nothing. The intervention of God that shows us our sameness and our foolishness.
As it happens, we cannot build a life that last with our own hands. It is only the thing that God establishes that will endure. (Psalm 127). If we want the certainty; if we want satisfaction; if we want food that will satiate and not leave us forgetting that we feasted; if we want unity and peace within ourselves and with others, then there is only one way. It is the way of receiving the grace of God. It is the way we take when we see rightly. When we see that we need a doctor, they need a doctor and that the Doctor is Jesus. (Mark 2:17). It is the way we take when we believe what God has said: "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Romans 3: 23 - 24, NIV).
We don't have to compete. We don't need to build tall towers of accomplishments or compete with others to prove our worth. Jesus Christ came to show us what He, in the company of the Father and Holy Spirit, had in mind when they made us in their image. (1 John 4:10 and Genesis 1:26). We are free to be built by God. We are free to build on the foundation of Jesus Christ's blood and righteousness, a life of love (unselfish concern for others), because we are perfectly loved. We are perfectly embraced by His unmerited kindness-by His grace.
And it is His grace that comes in like a wave to topple our efforts to build our lives. It is His perfect kindness to level our grainy skyscrapers because He knows the end of our own ways and He knows the plans He has in store for us. (Proverbs 14:12 and Jeremiah 29:11). So He sends the wave to invite us to embrace the truth of our neediness and His sufficiency. He sends the wave to help us rest in His love.
Reflect and Apply:
Our struggle to receive God's grace shows up so clearly in our relationships with others. Prayerfully answer the questions below. Where you answer yes you will find an opportunity to receive more of His superabundant grace.
As Be-Held Women we believe that true self-care is accomplished in a lifestyle of intimacy with Jesus Christ. We take care by drawing near to God through seeking and living the truth of God’s Word, by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit. We are confident that in living the truth by His Holy Spirit we will be transformed into women who bear the image of Jesus Christ in spirit, soul and body-women who are empowered to bless many. Dear Be-Held Woman, seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God's Word, we offer you this Bible study guide to support you in your endeavors! Apply it to this week's Scripture readings.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a daughter of God who believes that as we seek the truth of God's Word, and humble ourselves to live in agreement with it, that we will experience the transformation which allows us to enter wholistic wellness: spirit, soul and body. She is the Founder and President of EarthBasic and leads its Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together.