GRACE AND TRUTH – 2

Bible Reading: Ephesians 2:1-8

Today I want to share an up to date testimony from a dear friend, Rachel Molano, written a few days ago. It shows God’s grace and truth. It is a story of healing, the past washed away, seated in heavenly places, with a hope for the ages to come.

“I am without doubt living in the most extraordinary season of favour in my whole life. At time when I literally have to pinch myself that this is my life… especially the last two weeks. God has catapulted me right into Ephesians 3:20 “now to him who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine”. Getting to work with people who have been heroes of mine for years, dreams coming true daily, meeting famous people I cannot believe I get to be in a room with, going places I never thought I would, like the National Prayer Breakfast in DC and The House of Lords and Parliament, doors opening everywhere I turn, prayers answered, the deepest cries of my heart fulfilled, favour that is blowing my mind. Seemingly continually in one giant stream of blessing…I can barely process it all and I can’t stop smiling!! I’ve never ever felt so happy! But I remember the background story. Something few people talk about, once the blessing comes.

I remember years lying in a darkened room with no energy to do more than have a shower, in agony all over my body crying out to God for help. I remember the prison of being trapped in anorexia and bulimia, every day feeling like I wanted to die, and the day I nearly did take my life but God intervened. I remember the 10 year hard slog of going after inner healing, saying yes over and over to God’s invitation to push deeper into the places of my heart I had locked away, and doing it all through sobbing and gritted teeth when there was no blessing or reward in sight and it hurt like hell, and everything in me wanted to stop. I remember every failed relationship, heartbreak and betrayal by those closest to me, and trying to pick myself up and keep on believing there was hope for another day. I remember every self- sabotaging decision I made to blow up my life and walk away from God. I remember the years in solitude beating myself up, hating myself and locked in shame thinking God would never use me again because of my bad choices. I remember the long years of fighting through anxiety, and fear of my future and declaring Gods promises over myself when I couldn’t see an ounce of hope. I remember the years and years of holding onto promises God kept making me of incredible things that would happen in my future, which looked like pipe dreams in the face of my pathetic life. I remember watching everyone else grow in favour and learning to celebrate for them when they got what I wanted. I remember it all.

In those 11 years of inner healing, those years and years passing me by with no change, the Lord spoke many crazy things to me about my destiny. Things that seemed laughable back then. That I would one day get to know this famous person or that person or one day do some amazing exploit or go to some incredible place. And though there was no hope in sight and I used to stare up at the stars every night and ask how could you ever do that God, a part of me dared to believe. Life is not some giant highlight reel and mine definitely hasn’t been. I well remember the days of just putting one foot in front of the other and wondering if the dark season would ever end but daring to believe it could. I used to ask God, “Please give me back all the years the locusts have eaten, please.” And he promised me He would.

And now I’m here and He’s done everything He said and more, way more.

If you’re still reading this and you’re in that time right now, pacing the floor, holding on to promises that seem impossible, in the middle of years of what seems like continual hopelessness…. don’t give up. HE IS FAITHFUL. And He will do what He promises. If I could go back to myself 10 years ago or even 5 years ago, I would say “Rachel, hold on, I promise you it will all be worth it in the end. Every heartbreak now will pale into insignificance in the face of the blessings God will pour out on you, and when you’re in it you will barely be able to imagine this is your life.” Hold on, He is faithful. He can do it all. He is the God of the impossible and blessed is the one who puts his trust in Him. He redeems everything, and He makes all things new!! I hope this blesses someone today! Don’t give up!”

GRACE AND TRUTH

For our Bible reading today, read this amazing passage from the Amplified Bible:

“And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and we [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception).  John testified [repeatedly] about Him and has cried out [testifying officially for the record, with validity and relevance], “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I and has priority over me, for He existed before me.’” For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favour upon favour, and gift heaped upon gift]. For the Law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved favour of God] and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God [His essence, His divine nature] at any time; the [One and] only begotten God [that is, the unique Son] who is in the intimate presence of the Father, He has explained Him [and interpreted and revealed the awesome wonder of the Father]” [John 1:14-18].

This passage of Scripture is so overwhelmingly full of truth. It almost seems like sacrilege to comment upon it. Read it over and over again! Here we see Jesus Christ exalted. Here, out of Christ’s fullness, we find grace upon grace and God’s unlimited and undeserved favour poured out upon us. Here also we see Jesus revealing God the Father to us, so that we can understand His essence and His divine nature. John the Baptist is mentioned here but almost fades into insignificance as he speaks about Jesus!

Perhaps one thing to emphasize today is that both grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Grace can never be divorced from truth. If it is then the liberty that grace brings becomes licence! There are some people who teach that you can do as you please because you have received grace. We do not now live by the Law but by the Spirit who writes God’s Law in our hearts. Augustine said, “Love God and do as you please.” That is true, but when you love God you will only want to do what pleases Him, and that will always be truth. To be full of grace and truth means to be absolutely free of deception!

Throughout John’s Gospel we see grace and truth together. It does not deny sin, but it brings forgiveness and freedom. Ask the woman at the well [John chapter four]. Ask the lame man in the pool of Bethesda [John chapter five]. Ask the woman caught in the act of adultery [John chapter eight]. Ask a grateful Mary of Bethany [John chapter twelve]. Ask doubting Thomas [John chapter twenty]. Ask a broken, wounded Simon Peter [John chapter twenty-one]. Tomorrow we will hear an up-to-date testimony of grace and truth.

Questions:

What spoke to you most of all as you read the Bible passage today?

How do you see grace and truth working together in your life? In what way should grace and truth permeate our relationships with other people? If you have had wrong relationships would you ask God’s forgiveness today?