Ephesians 2:8-9

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.

 When I was interning with my church’s student ministries I got asked to preach a sermon. I was excited, but so nervous because I thought if I didn’t do it well then God and my pastor would be really disappointed with me. So I did the talk, and to say it was a train wreck would be an understatement. I fumbled over words, lost my train of thought, said stupid things, and tried to be funny. I saw myself crashing and burning as the faces of the students stared, bored by my demise.

I was upset at myself for so long afterwards, thinking that God was just as upset with me about my butchering of the sermon. But then I read the verse above from Ephesians. It hit me that God wasn’t basing my worth as a Christian on my performance; he was basing it on my worth as his child. I could practically hear God telling me, “That’s my son, and I’m proud of him.”

You see, it isn’t what you do that gains God’s love; his love is a gift and it has been freely given to all. This is grace and it is so freeing. However, this isn’t a free pass to not try hard or do good works; God wants you to work hard for his kingdom. What this does mean is no matter how bad you screw up or fail God still loves you and is immensely proud of you. Next time you start to feel shame over failure, remind yourself of your worth in God. You are His son or daughter and He couldn’t be more proud.

QUESTION 1. Have you ever felt like you failed God? What happened?
QUESTION 2. Did you live in that shame or did you remind yourself of your worth and the grace of God?
CHALLENGE: Don’t beat yourself up or feel ashamed because of failure; instead, know that God will always show grace and mercy and will always love you no matter what.
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