Welcome back to “Friday Feature!” Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and enjoy today’s devotion! If you missed last week’s devotion, you can read it here!
Melanie Tierce-Slay brings us today’s devotion titled, “The Gospel of Grace.” As traveling artists and worship leaders for People and Songs, Melanie and her husband Kaden reside in Lucedale, Mississippi. I had the privilege of meeting Melanie at The Linger Conference in Texas earlier this year. I love her heart for God and how she allows God to shine through her when leading worship! She and her husband have an album out as a duo, (http://smarturl.it/TheSlays) and he also has a solo album entitled “The Mercy of Jesus.” For anyone interested in inviting them to lead worship, you can reach out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Give Melanie a follow! @melanietiercemusic
I just finished up leading worship with my husband at a 4 night revival here in Lucedale, Mississippi. It was a much needed refreshing and powerful time! At one point a few nights ago, the preacher wholeheartedly declared “You know some people will miss the Lord by eighteen inches… because eighteen inches is the average measurement between someone’s head and their heart.” This really resonated with me.
The truth is that following after Jesus with one’s whole life has never been a matter of intellect alone. It is one thing to know the gospel as information, but another one entirely to have it transform your life at the very core, from the inside out. It is, unfortunately, too easy to know something intellectually, but still keep it at arm’s length. Never letting that truth come into the deepest parts of us and actually set us free.
There is something in particular in my life that I have to fight hard to own not only with my thoughts but with the entirety of being – and that is the grace of Jesus. I know what you might be thinking, it’s a bit concerning because the entirety of gospel IS grace. Ah, it’s the truth! It is this very Grace that drew me to Jesus Himself at 15 years old, cleansed me with forgiveness, and filled me with resurrection in Christ! So why is it, when I have walked at Jesus’ side for over ten years now, and have experienced His grace and compassion toward me time and time again, that I still have this unfortunate tendency at times to earn, strive and perform for love?
The pointed words of Paul in Galatians 3:3 certainly apply to me,
“Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”
Jesus started it in me. That means Jesus finishes it in me! The reality is we were saved by grace through faith. And we indeed are also being sanctified the same way. Every day until we go Home! Do we have the responsibility to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”? Certainly. But the ground I plant my feet upon is NOT my own ability to work it out, but is the rock that is the GRACE of Jesus.
There are two ways we must respond to our tendency to rely on our performance rather than the grace of Jesus. Firstly, we must repent. Repentance requires a turning away completely, a changing of one’s mind, and a walking in a new way. I repent and turn away from a performance mindset by reminding my soul of and clinging to the sufficiency of Jesus! His blood is enough and His blood covers every sin past present and future! I also ask the Lord to forgive me for holding on to anything but the Cross.
Secondly, we must receive. We must be open to the possibility that there are places in our lives that we have received the love of Jesus with our minds, but haven’t let it seep down all the way to our hearts. We must posture ourselves at His feet, attuned to his Holy Spirit, to hear from Him once again the true reality of just how big His grace is.
I invite you to take a few moments with this song, Simple, to draw so near to Jesus. Nearer, maybe, than you have been in a while. Give yourself the time, space and breath to simply sit with Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to make real to you the love and grace of Jesus in a fresh and powerful way. Repent from relying on yourself instead of Jesus, and receive the Love that truly does change everything.
Bless you, friend.
Link to Simple on Itunes: https://music.apple.com/us/album/simple/1496910702?i=1496910757
Smart Link to my album : http://smarturl.it/MT-CityOfGod