By Barbara Rainey
This summer much of the world will be watching the Olympics, cheering their favorite team or athlete from their home country. Worldwide spectators love the competition, the personal stories, the medal ceremonies. Most of all, though, we love the thrill of victory.
Whether it’s the Super Bowl, the World Series, the World Cup, or just the local high school sports team who wins the championship, fans cheering any of these victories have one thing in common: the thrill of being named the best as they stand in unison and celebrate with jubilant arms raised high.
I have frequently wondered if God watches our regularly misplaced devotion over our teams with a sad longing for that which should be His: unbridled affection and joy.
Often times I have wanted to stand up in church to jump and cheer with my arms raised high to express the sheer joy that Jesus has delivered me from the domain of darkness and by His shed blood set me free from bondage to sin!!!
Have you ever felt the same?
But have you, like me, restrained yourself knowing everyone around you would wonder at your sanity if we acted that way in church?
It’s ok in a stadium, but not in church. How insane is that?
No wonder those who don’t know Jesus aren’t too interested in Him. We are too unenthusiastic.
The lyrics above, from the hymn “Grace Greater than our Sin,” get stuck in my head. The tune and the truth of the words “grace that is greater than all my sin” resonate in my mind for endless hours and infiltrate my heart with a lovely reminder of my precious Savior’s love.
This melodious reminder calls me to revisit the impossible, to imagine the choice Jesus made to willingly lay His screaming-in-pain body on that rough, splinter-filled, wooden cross. His love, His grace, was and is so immense that it compelled Him to die for me and for you. Does this reality change everything for you?
It’s simply stunning to me. When I ponder it, I shake my head trying to make sense of what He did for me. Grace is the reason. And it changes everything.
But there is more. One day we will be standing victorious in the end, not because we won the victory on the field, but because Jesus won the victory on our behalf. He was on the field for us. He defeated Satan.
One day we who believe in Jesus’ name will celebrate as never seen on earth with arms raised, with shouts of joy, with tears of eternal gratitude.
All because of grace.
God’s great amazing grace!