I have been reading a new book. I am not sure how it was picked for me on my Amazon Kindle Daily Deals email, but I am glad it was. It is “Defiant Grace: The Surprising Message and Mission of Jesus” by Dane Ortlund.
The book looks at “Defiant Grace” in each of the Gospels. So far, I have made it through Chapter 1 on Matthew. After finishing that first chapter, I realized that this is one of those books that I am going to have to read, and then go back and read again, and read maybe a third time to fully appreciate the message. But one sentence in Chapter 1 brought me up short.
“… in the kingdom of God the one thing that qualifies us is knowing that we don’t, and the one thing that disqualifies us is thinking that we do. In other words, all we need is to know our need. To put it briefly, the only thing to offer is the single statement: ‘I have nothing to offer.’”
That sentence made me stop and ask God, “Why?” “Why me?” “Why would you call me to be your child?”
I was a difficult child, a rebellious teenager. I’ve been a thief, a liar, am often arrogant, impatient, and unkind. I fail often. In other words, I have been (and am still) a sinner. But I am also something more because two of the most wonderful words ever uttered appeared in my life … “But God ….”
“We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!” [Ephesians 2:3-5 HCSB]
“But God” rich in mercy saved me and made me His child.
I am a sinner, now saved by His amazing grace. I am a child of God. And when I realize that I am not qualified to be His child, that I have nothing to offer Him, I am overcome with “Why me?” I will never be able to answer that question, but I can rest in His love, mercy and grace.
Thank you, Father!