Undeserving of Grace

Grace. Grace. Grace.

I’m so overwhelmed with God’s grace. Constantly. I’m so underserving of His grace, His love, and His affections. So underserving, so sinful, so prideful—but He loves me anyways. He is jealous for my love.

{And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:1-10, ESV}

Paul writes that we were dead in our trespasses and sin. The New Living Translation says that we “used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil…the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.”

That’s hard to think about. Our sin—following the passions of our flesh, carrying out impure desires, wrath? That’s me. That’s you. That’s all of us. But I love verse 4. It’s what I like to call a “big but.” But God. He is rich in mercy. He LOVED us—even when we were dead. Even when we were sinful. Full of wrath. Carrying out selfish, deceitful desires. Following our flesh. Living in sin. He loved us and seated us with Christ so that he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us. We’ve been saved because of his grace.

This passage makes me tear up when I read it or hear it. I think John Mark McMillian’s song, “How He Loves” is a beautiful picture of this passage (among other passages of Scripture). The imagery in it—it gets me every time. It will come on when I’m driving to work, and I’ll have tear-streaked cheeks by the time I walk in the doors. His grace—it’s so overwhelming.

Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us, oh, 
Oh, how He loves us,
How He loves us all

And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If his grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about the way…

He loves us,
Oh, how He loves us

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