Do You Feel Unworthy To Receive God’s Grace?

Have you ever thought: Thank God I am not what I should be but I am much better than I use to be? We can believe in God but often it is difficult believing in ourselves. Do we believe that God is all powerful and in control? Then is it possible that it is God’s power that changes Christian’s behavior and lifestyle if they repent and it’s not by their own strength? How much credit do we give God in changing who we are or do we believe any change is entirely up to us? If you believe change is totally up to each of us, then you probably feel unworthy as many Christians do.

So you don’t live a perfect life. Do you know anyone in the Bible, but Christ, who did? Don’t you realize the reason God has given you His Spirit was because He knew we could not make a drastic change in how we live by ourselves. Yet we keep on trying by our own will and we keep failing. We live and believe as if this life of Christian perfection is entirely up to us. The result is that unworthy feeling. We are negatively influenced by Satan’s emissaries that God is not pleased with us.

We realize our part is surrendering this selfish nature we were born with. We are taught that we can surrender that nature only when we learn to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind and others as ourselves. It doesn’t seem that true surrender can be accomplished until we learn to love God and others. We must surrender this selfish nature in order to love God and others. It is this love of God and others that gives us a completely different perspective as to how we are to live and treat others.

Timothy 1:12 – 17 – “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.”

Paul was chosen by Christ to take the gospel to the Gentiles and much of the New Testament tells of his past. He was the worst of sinners. He says we should look at him and see how desperate he was. He then praises God and says if He can save me, empower and strengthen me, then by His grace He can and will do it for anyone. That means any of us who feel we are not worthy to be saved and changed.

Scripture says that Paul did not exaggerate his past. He approved the stoning of Stephen. His purpose, prior to being converted, and ultimate goal was to destroy Christianity and the church. He went from home to home dragging people off to prison. He yelled murderous threats to the Lord’s disciples. He was a huge part of the Jewish persecution of Christians. The Jews put some to death and others were placed into prisons. He did whatever he could to oppose the followers of Christ.

Regardless of everything that Paul said and did, once saved, God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit gave him the love for both believers and unbelievers. What Paul lacked God supplied. What He did for Paul He can and will do for each one of us because of His grace. As we know, grace is a gift and cannot be earned. Yet, many believers struggle with grace, which is given through Jesus Christ, believing that they must work and earn their way to heaven. Too often we set ourselves personal standards that we cannot reach or the church or church people do it for us. Frustrated and discouraged by not meeting these “so called” man-made requirements, we feel like failures and unworthy to be children of God.
Do we allow our past sins or baggage to determine who we are today? Do we dwell on our past or live for the future? Over the years I have met with a number of Christians and find that many really struggle with the feeling of being unworthy. To some degree I think most of us have at times felt that way.

I believe Paul was an example of how a person’s past can be overcome when the Holy Spirit enters the life of a person and we become born again. Does it sound like Paul dwelt on the past or lived for the future? God’s power to forgive sins and start us with a clean slate should make us think like a new person eliminating our old self. But does it? It depends on our knowledge of the Bible, our faith and the ability to trust God’s promises. Do you struggle with: “How could God possibly forget my past sins and some of the things I do now?” That might be like asking how God created the universe. Do you think He is unable to erase your past sins and forget about your need to be punished?

Ephesians 1:3 – 6 – “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.” NLT

Most are uncomfortable giving the Lord complete control, like our money or other assets. Repentance at salvation is a singular event while true surrender is an ongoing process. Many have never willingly surrendered to the Holy Spirit, and so they find this to be very challenging. As a result, there is little change in their lives and behavior. If there is little change, is it hard to believe God has adopted you and truly loves you? So if you do not see yourself as God says He sees you, whose fault is it?

In order to grasp the idea of a surrendered life, we must first realize as Christians that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Second, we must accept that God has always loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. (Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could love ourselves as God loves us or see ourselves as God sees us?) Third, God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. How does it feel to be one of God’s children?

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