I’ve heard it before: “You are a trophy of God’s grace.” I probably heard that first from Max Lucado, who has written more prolifically about grace than any author in the late-20th/early 21st centuries. But despite reading virtually all of his books, and reveling in their message, I still — somehow — missed it. I missed the real message of grace.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve experienced the amazing grace of God in the forgiveness of my sins. I’ve experienced astounding, restorative grace, after committing adultery in an earlier marriage. I’ve known what it is to fail and to be restored. I know what it is to be a sinner and be forgiven. But somehow I missed the freedom in Christ that comes along with that kind of grace.
It was not until I left my church of fifteen years that I discovered the freedom and liberty that Jesus (and centuries before, the prophet Isaiah) proclaims:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom
for the prisoners and
recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
(Luke 4:18-19, NIV)
It is the Good News that says that once and for all, “it is finished.”
Because of The Cross and all Jesus accomplished and fulfilled there…
I can be weak, because He was strong.
I can fail, because He was (and is) victorious.
I can quit striving, because all the work is done.
It is finished. Done. Fulfilled. Complete.
We are trophies of God’s grace, but somehow, we don’t live like it. We don’t act like it. There is something missing. The freedom isn’t there. The joy isn’t there. We continue to strive. The oppressed still carry burdens we weren’t meant to carry. The prisoners haven’t been set free.
But there is more. Listen to a story of freedom in Christ from “Nathan & Kandace”…
Have you heard the Good News? I mean, REALLY heard it?