But By the Grace of God

Nick MartineauBlog

I love Luke Chapter 15. In this chapter we find the parable of the Lost Sheep and the parable of the Prodigal Son. Both stories show the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father and how He never stops pursuing us.

A couple weeks ago I read Luke 15, and tears started to form in my eyes. I’ve read Luke 15 many times, so even though I knew what was coming, I was moved to tears nonetheless.

I want you all to know that I have had a heart for Jesus for about as long as I can remember. I accepted Jesus when I was seven years old; by ten years old I was regularly reading my Bible, and by eighteen years old I had felt a calling to work in the ministry.

I share all of that to share with you that every stupid, wretched thing I’ve done, I’ve done as one that’s been saved and called. All the things I regret, the things that almost crushed me, the things that took years and years for the chains to break…all those things took place while I was saved and called.

For many years I had great regret, but then Luke 15 started to become very real to me. Jesus. This Jesus that loves not just innocent little children, but also the mind-baffling, depraved, grotesque, full-grown sinners too!

Jesus never let me go. Jesus never gave up on me. Jesus never changed His mind about me. Jesus kept telling me and showing me that He loved me.

Slowly but surely Jesus reveals Himself to me through His Word, through worship, through prayer, and through friends. Even during my worst times of sin, I can look back and see Jesus was always there, always pursuing me. It literally took years to get my full attention before I started walking a more steady walk with Him.

As I read Luke 15 with tears in my eyes, I kept thanking Jesus over and over again for being a soul-saving, chain-breaking, dead-raising, unmovable, unshakable, all-pursuing, indisputable, gracious, and loving God!

I am by no means soft on the destructiveness of sin…I personally understand sin’s viciousness. However, I have great grace and patience because I’ve seen first-hand how Jesus has been grace-filled and patient with me, even while I’ve been saved and called and still sinful.

May we all weep tears of joy as we receive the grace that has been given to us. Much like the Prodigal Son that squandered his father’s wealth, his opportunity, and his family’s name yet he was met with forgiveness, a loving hug, and a welcome home party!

But by the grace of God I am what I am…. (1 Cor. 15:10)