If you’ve been in the church world for any amount of time, you may be able to finish the line from this song, if not, I’ll finish it for you…”Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.”
‘Owe’ is a strong word, a word that carries a certain weight to it. When I hear the word owe, I think of debt, I think of being in the red, not reconciled and unsettled. When we accept the gift of Jesus’ death on the cross, God accepts this as a payment for our sin. Paid in Full. Full…means everything, all paid up, good to go, free and and clear. Somewhere along the way in my journey this amazingly awesome FREE gift got twisted and I got confused. This song didn’t help much either. What do I owe Jesus?
When praying about working in ministry, God asked me why I ever got started in the first place. Why I thought a job in ministry was where I belonged.
My reply was immediate, I was so sure of it! “Because You saved me God! You rescued me from a self destructive pit of depression and despair. You gave me life when I thought mine was over. Why wouldn’t I want to work for you? I owe you my life because you gave me yours!” His response to me was one I wasn’t prepared for, and one I think about often now. “Baby, if you owe me anything, then salvation isn’t free.”
I’ve spent the better part of 6 months trying to let that one sink in. “If I owe Him anything, then salvation isn’t free.” Yikes…when the realization of how much of my 16 year walk with God has been trying to pay Him back for the gift He gave me, I feel so silly.
This explains so much. Why I work at all stems from the lie that I owe God. I work because I owe Him, I go to church because I owe Him at least that much. I try and do good things and be a ‘good’ Christian because I owe him. I have to get my crazy issues under control because I owe Him. But the truth is, I owe Him nothing. Not one cent, not one minute of my life, not one thought, good deed, perfect behavior or good choice.
The moment I began to align myself with this truth, the power of the free gift of salvation actually drew me closer to Him, not further away. It didn’t become a free pass to do whatever I wanted. It made me love and go crazy for the One who would do such a thing for me.
The ‘it’ I’m referring to is GRACE. Grace drew me in, GRACE sustains me, GRACE keeps me coming back for more. Because of His GRACE, I want to do good things and with His power, I am doing, can do and will do those very things. It’s the same ‘it’ referred to in this Bible passage…“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. IT teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,” Titus 2:11 – 12. IT = GRACE.
If you are anything like me, you probably beat yourself up over your failures and have trouble letting them go. But can I ask you this? If God doesn’t hold them against you, why do you? God calls you a son/daughter (Galatians 4:5-7) we don’t need to worry about the things we’ve done and are doing. We can remember who we are and how much we are loved. If you don’t believe it, ask Him to show you and to help you believe! He will not disappoint.
My prayer for this post is for anyone who reads it to receive every bit of freedom He has for you through the gift of His Son Jesus. I pray you work WITH Him and not FOR Him. I pray you let yourself off the hook and let His GRACE wash over you. I pray you let Him in, let Him draw you in and stop pushing yourself so hard. I pray you align yourself with His truth as He reveals the beauty and depth of His gift of salvation. From this place I pray you live your life, do the work He has joyfully given you to do and discover more of who you are and were created to be in the journey. Blessings to you my blog reading friends!