Day 14 of 31 Days of Connecting
The other night Tim and I watched “Ragamuffin,” a movie about the life of the musician Rich Mullins.
As Tim and I watched Rich meet with Brennan Manning and as Brennan Manning taught Rich about God’s love for the first time I was brought back to my seat in Bethel’s Great Hall as Brennan Manning (I can’t write his name without saying first and last, it’s just impossible!) taught me about God’s love. It was as if I had never been taught the gospel before. In tears I purchased the book, got in line for an autograph, and asked the elderly man for a hug. Surprised, he did.
I went back to my room trying to wrap my head around such words as “grace” and tried to actually accept that it was for me. I tried to grasp “forgiveness” and kept repeating the phrase: “You shouldn’t should on yourself”… just trying to make it stick.
That was 13 years ago.
I still forget.
I still try to win God’s favor. I still try to be perfect. I still try to live as if I don’t sin, denying the sins I do commit, and harming my ability to connect with others in the process.
Because I believe to be connected with your true self is to understand yourself as a sinner who is saved by the marvelous grace of Jesus.
No more masks. No more facades. But face to face with the harsh truth that but for Christ’s death on the cross, I would be lost.
He didn’t want to lose me.
And because of this grace, I am free to live as I truly am. When I see my sin, I can confess it, find forgiveness, and be equipped to live without it.
This is such a long process. Life-long. Though we can experience great healing and wholeness I don’t believe anyone ever experiences complete holiness in this life – no one except Jesus of course.
And so, we continue to fall back on God’s amazing, extravagant, prodigal, glorious, humbling grace until we see Him face to face.
And then we will truly live.
Please watch this two minute video of a piece of a Brennan Manning sermon. It could change your life.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16