• April 12, 2024
  • BY Jon Huff
  • no responses
CATEGORIZED IN: From Pastor Philip

As a kid growing up in church, I was so close to the Gospel that I missed it for many years. Being a firstborn with a leaning toward people-pleasing, my natural inclination was toward performance. So at church, that meant bringing my Bible each week, attending Sunday school, memorizing verses, and adopting socially acceptable behaviors. I got really good at being really good. I thought that’s what God wanted of me. So I did my best to be good, and in return, I figured God would love and bless me. It was a transaction, and I was doing my part. I was a little Pharisee, living as a religious moralist, trying to impress God with my own righteousness.


But when I reached my teen years, all of that fell apart. I discovered my heart was overrun with anger, lust, and selfishness. At first, I tried to deny my sinfulness, to hide it even from myself. When you’re on a performance treadmill, it’s hard to admit you have a problem. I put on a smile and pretended everything was okay. But deep down I knew I wasn’t the good person everyone thought I was. I was a mess…a dirty, rotten, mess of a sinner. And I didn’t know what to do.


That’s when I discovered grace. The God I thought wanted my goodness, it turns out, already had all the righteousness He’d ever required in Jesus Christ. So when I cried
out for mercy, He met me with grace and forgiveness through the blood of His Son who laid down His life in love for me. Instead of a transaction where I needed to be good to be loved, I discovered the Gospel truth that I was loved as a sinner because of Christ. I was far worse than I’d imagined and more loved than I knew. It was the day grace awakened my soul.


Today, we’re going to gather around a table with a Sinner, a Pharisee, and a Forgiver…and marvel at the grace awakening that unfolds in Luke 7:36–50.


For it is by the grace of God that we are loved, more than we know.

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