Tuesday, December 11, 2012

live second: undeserved

Over the next several days, I—along with many other bloggers—will be blogging about the new book Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Rather than giving my thoughts on the book right now (I'll do that later), I'll be responding to different readings in the book. In the book, each week has a different theme, and each theme has an "I am Second" video that goes with it. I will be writing about one reading from weeks six through nine.

Week Six in Live Second is called "Struggles." The video is of Brian "Head" Welch, former Korn guitarist.

I am focusing my attention on Day 7, "Undeserved." The day's reading is Psalm 104:1-6 (ESV):
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
  and all that is within me,
  bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
  and forget not all his benefits,
  who forgives all your iniquity,
  who heals all your diseases,
  who redeems your life from the pit,
  who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
  who satisfies you with good
  so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The Lord works righteousness
  and justice for all who are oppressed.
I'll admit it: often I forget just how undeserving of salvation I really am. As someone who grew up in the church, whose entire teenage rebellion consisted of sneaking into my parents' basement to watch shows like (gasp!) Friends, and who is inherently a rule follower, it's easy to get sucked into thinking that I am and have always been a pretty good person.

But the reality is that before Jesus saved me, my heart was black with sin. No, God didn't redeem me from the pit of drug or alcohol addiction, from a life of promiscuity, or from any of those other so-called "bad" sins. But he redeemed my selfish, proud, angry heart that was just as deserving of Hell as any murderer, prostitute, or addict (Romans 3:23).

Each December, I sing in the Singing Christmas Tree choir. SCT is my church's Christmas program, and we have 12 performances over three weekends. As I sing the songs, especially by this point in the season, I usually don't think about the meaning of the lyrics; in fact, I often am not thinking about much of anything as I sing ... unless I'm debating whether or not I'll drive through Starbucks or stop at Walmart on my way home! Last weekend was different, though. As I drove to our first performance on Saturday, I was listening to my practice CD. One of my favorite songs, "Jesus Saves," came on, and while I sang, I actually thought about what I was singing. Suddenly, I couldn't even get the lyrics out, as I was completely awash in wonder that Jesus would save me! After that, each time we reached this section of the song, I'd get a hitch in my voice:
"It is done!" will shout the cross
Christ has paid redemption's cost
While the empty tomb's declaring
Jesus saves!
I did nothing to deserve salvation. I did nothing to earn it. And yet He freely offered it. That's Grace!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a digital copy of this book for review purposes from the author. I was not required to give a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Post! I think we are a lot alike! I am very much a "rule follower" and didn't realize till later in life that I thought if I was perfect God would love me more, or that I could somehow earn my way to heaven. WRONG! It's so easy for me to get in a "self-righteous" mode. But the truth is, there is NOTHING I can do! He has done it all! Thank the Lord for that! :)


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