Fifty Shades of Grace
Well. We all have heard about it. And I'm pretty sure we're all not unanimous on whether or not the movie "50 Shades of Grey" is appropriate for Christians to watch (and read). The volume of blogs trying to convince those going to see it that it's wrong proves that. The number of Christian men and women arguing in favor of the movie is heart-breaking.
But that's not what I'm here to talk about.
I think the main reason this movie is such a hot topic among Christian circles is because many people all over the world and all over the country have lost sight of the most important thing: Jesus.
We have lost sight of the ONE person in the whole entire universe that thought that our messed-up selves were worth dying for. We have lost our first love.
It's so evident in our culture and screaming at us from our television sets and our smart phones.
Maybe we didn't lose our fervor for Christ all at once. Maybe we lost it gradually. Maybe we decided to watch that TV show even though we knew that the things portrayed in the show did not honor God. Maybe we read that book that everyone was reading at school or the office so we could talk about it with them but we knew it was wrong. Maybe we clicked on that link and watched something online that we knew we shouldn't watch. Maybe we sent that text or message whose contents contained things only meant for the eyes of our spouse.
And we would be embarrassed watching it or reading it if Jesus was physically sitting next to us in the flesh.
The fact of the matter is this: we didn't lose our passion and desire for the love of Jesus all at once. We did lose it little by little and now we're wondering why we can't hear from God like we used to. We're trying to figure out why we're so unhappy and negative all the time. We're not someone that we like.
And you want to know something?
Even though our fire may have died out, God's hasn't. He is still as madly in love with you as the day He perfectly knit you together in your mother's womb.
There's no debate about that.
His continuous, unfailing, passionate love for us in spite of our lack-luster faith and love is the very definition of one word: Grace.
There are so many Scriptures coming to mind but there is one in particular that holds a very special place in my heart that perfectly describes the grace that Christ has bestowed on us.
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do."
(Ephesians 2:1-10; NIV)
PRAISE THE LORD!
We are sinners and we were dead in our transgressions. We followed the desires of Satan and we were disobedient to the call of God. What we wanted, we got and we followed through with our sinful desires and thoughts. BUT GOD stepped in and saved us. Why? Because He was and is madly in love with us and rich in mercy and grace towards us. He brought our hearts to live and redeemed us with His love. As if that wasn't enough, He raised us up with Christ and made us honorable guests in His kingdom and given the riches of His love. It is only by grace that we are saved and there is nothing we could do to earn it. He has also written out a plan for our lives - we are His workmanship, His masterpiece.
See, His grace is boundless and infinite. Look at us! We're treating celebrities as gods, listening to music that is unholy and not pure, we are advertising movies that do not bring God any glory at all. Why on earth would He give us grace? Because that is who He is and He knows what He has in store for us. We just need to fall back in love with the man who came and died for us and never look back.
We need to worship Him on our faces.
We need to follow Him to the ends of the earth.
We need to get to know Him as well as He knows us.
and we need to love Him more than life itself.
His grace is so marvelous, so wide, and so indescribable. There are so many more shades than fifty to describe His grace and love - even hues and shades that we've never seen and couldn't comprehend.
His grace is fiery red and full of passion.
His grace is powder blue and filled with peace.
His grace is bright green and alive with His love.
His grace is brighter than the darkest night, deeper than the deepest ocean, and wider than the ends of the earth.
Brothers and sisters, may it never be said of us that:
"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love."
(Revelation 2:4; NIV)
Let's fall back in love with our first and greatest love.
I am currently a teacher and life-long student of Scripture learning more about life and Jesus's marvelous love and boundless grace.