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By Grant Everly
Many of us go through our entire Christian lives and miss out on so much with God. Some of us assume a legalistic approach when it comes to our faith, others of us perhaps overly intellectual, and still others of us fake our way through.
All of us, to one extent or another, have a tendency to miss out on everything that God has to offer us. It’s so unfortunate that this is the case. The love that God offers us is overwhelming, but we rarely allow it to overwhelm us.
At iMPACT on Sunday we focused on Ephesians 2:1-10. After reading it, I’m convinced that all we need to know as Christians can be summed up in two words: But God.
The first half of the passage describes what should be. It displays that we are horribly ugly because of our sinful nature. In essence, we’re dead, fully deserving God’s wrath. But then we get to verse 4, and what should be gets flipped on its head.
“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.” Ephesians 2:4-5
We, a dead, broken, and unworthy people, get to be recipients of God’s mercy when we accept Christ’s gift. It’s completely undeserved, but God decided to give it to us. If left to ourselves, we would be dead, but God has other plans. We’re horribly rotten people, but God decided to so richly love.
We were dead, but God.
When we look at Christianity through this light, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to stand unmoved. Think about it. You, by all rights, should be considered unworthy by the Creator of the universe. We’re entrenched in sin, but God, for no reason than his unconditional love for us, decided to take all that should be true, and throw it out the window. In so doing, he throws his arms around us and gives us a God-sized bear hug.
The God of the universe loves you. It’s not a love rooted in obligation. It’s completely undeserved. We have absolutely no right to God’s love, and the crazy part is that he continually showers us with it.
When we take the time to let this reality sink in, our relationship with God will change. It’s impossible for it not to. When we focus on the “but God,” a faith that appears to be an intellectual exercise, a faith that is fake, and a faith that is rooted in legalism becomes impossible to sustain. The fact that the God of the Universe loves us unconditionally should put us in a place of sheer awe, where the only proper response is to return the favor.
So as we move forth in our walks with Christ, let’s focus on the “but god;” for when we do this, the fullness of Christianity is realized and we can begin to live the life that God intended for us.
Grant Everly is a junior at Warren Township High School and regularly attends church with his family and iMPACT on Sunday nights. He plays soccer, enjoys sports and has passion for learning more about Christ and growing in Him.