A Walk of Grace
In so many of our posts that have been written for More Precious, we have seen the same pattern: a lifestyle that rejects God being transformed into one that chooses to walk in the light of God's saving grace. Rosie's story today shows us how relationship with God is greater and more fulfilling than anything we try and search for on our own, and it is a huge reminder of how much we need saving, of how much we are continually walking in grace.
You’re not going to like this post. Or at least, you’re not going to like this post if you close your browser halfway through reading it. It’s gritty, not at all sugar coated and true. But there is a message at the end which I’ll be praying will encourage and challenge you today. So, thank you in advance for reading this post to the end.
As Christians we want (hopefully!) to share the gospel and explain it to people who don’t believe so that they can put their trust in Jesus. After all, the Bible tells us to go make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). However, I wonder if occasionally, we avoid having gospel-centred conversations with certain people whom we think won’t take it well, or are in too bad a place to be open to hearing the news of our incredible salvation through Jesus Christ. I will put my hands up here and say that I have done this. Sometimes, as I’ve seen someone getting kicked out of a club for being too drunk, or starting a brawl, or stumbling down the street at 2am on a Friday night, I’ve thought: “I’ll leave someone else to talk to that person. I’m definitely not up for the job!” It’s so sad, and something I have been convicted of and am working on, but it is true.
That’s easy to say now as someone who has put their trust in Jesus, feels the love and warmth that having a restored relationship with God can bring and tries to live a life that glorifies Him. But a year and a half ago, that girl getting kicked out of the club for being too drunk was me.
In my first term and a half of university, I took the drinking culture very seriously. I was consistently drunk five nights a week, and slept around quite a lot. I guess I thought, naïvely, that if I guy was interested in me at 2am, he would still be interested in me at 9am. In hindsight, all I was searching for was that feeling of being wanted, which I thought I could achieve by going home with a guy. What I didn’t realise was that with every boy I never saw again, with every time I walked home on my own, I felt more unwanted than the last time. This soon spiralled out of control, and by the beginning of my second term, I knew I was in a bad place. I knew it wasn’t pretty, and I knew that I wasn’t going to get out of it on my own.
As it turned out, I didn’t have to get out of it on my own. God was so good and so loving to me that He made it part of his incredible providence to put one particular friend in my life. And this friend didn’t think I was too difficult a case.
She didn’t think I was beyond Jesus’ love.
She didn’t leave it to someone else to talk to me about the Gospel. She saw someone who was hurting, who needed love and help,and invited me to church.
I’m happy to say that my heart was gripped by the gospel, and I put my faith in Jesus Christ.
One particular make-or-break moment, shortly after I became a Christian, was when I flicked by accident to the wrong page of my new 1 Corinthians Bible study notes. I hadn’t really looked at my Bible since coming home for the summer holidays, but I decided to appease my friends’ badgering to do personal quiet time by doing a study. I opened my new Bible and began to read the wrong passage. This is what it said:
"Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
I was struck by this passage immediately. I ticked so many of those boxes! But there was the proof, right there – through putting my faith in Jesus, I was washed, sanctified and justified. Despite all the horrible things that I have done (that you now know), I was blameless in the eyes of the Creator of the universe, because someone else was willing to die for me so that I could live. Not just anyone, but the son of God! Remember how I said that what I had been searching for was feeling wanted? Well, there it is.
God so wanted me that he paid the ultimate price, so that I, a sinner, could have a real relationship with Him.
So that I could inherit His kingdom, and live as His child and heir, sharing in Christ’s glory. I, and all of us who have put our faith in Jesus, are now twice His, as not only did He create us but He redeemed us also, and at what a cost! It doesn’t get any more wanted than that.
Since then, God has used my life to showcase the incredible power that He has to change hearts. My life has changed so much for the better because I want to live in a way that glorifies God – it’s the least I could do considering what He has done for me!
No one is too bogged down in sin to be saved, and EVERYONE can have salvation if they put their trust in Jesus.
Jesus was so holy, and yet so gracious that he hung out with prostitutes, tax collectors and lepers, the people that society shunned most. It will be a long, winding path before we stand before God as a perfect mirror of Jesus’ character, certainly! But one of the first steps on this path, surely, is to try and emulate Jesus’ kindness and talk about Him to everyone, especially those who we feel inclined to dismiss.
Jesus treated people who don’t believe with compassion, because they are like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34). So let’s be concerned about the eternal fate of our fellow man. Let’s speak to as many people as possible about Jesus, because we love them and we love our King. Let’s not worry about how badly they might take it. Someone at my church once said to me: “Don’t worry about what they think of Jesus, but worry about what Jesus thinks of them.” I think that sums it up very well!
I’m not ashamed of the things I did in the past because they were all part of God’s amazing plan for me to learn to trust in Him. So, hi! I’ve been saved by grace despite everything I’ve done, and I’ve learnt that nothing – no party, man, drink, club, or anything else on this earth – will ever be better than having a personal relationship with God, through Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, and the Holy Spirit.
Rosie is just about to start her third year of a Biomedical Sciences degree at Durham University. She loves singing, songwriting, cooking, baking and playing hockey. Rosie recently came back from two weeks in Beijing, where she was astounded to see how God is working in China. She aims to always remind people (and herself!) that our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20), in the hope that they will be spurred to live more radically for Jesus!