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- Jacob Ninan
The older I become, and the more I get to know God, myself and others, the more I see how little I really know, and how much more I need to know. I see I need to change even some things I thought I knew. There is still a great gap between what I do know and how I live. I see my very best is still full of many flaws, and my worst is better left without mention. It's certainly not a good picture, but it's what's real.
I could try to make excuses or justify myself in some way, but I can't justify myself before the Lord who can accept nothing but the perfect. I would be totally lost except that Jesus came for me. He saw me in my need and knew that I couldn't save myself. So He took it on Himself to find me justification before the Father. He offered Himself in my place and took the blame for my sins, and suffered on the cross and died. And because I put my faith in Him and what He has done for me, God has accepted me. He showed me this favour which I don't deserve and can't ever deserve. Because of Jesus I'm forgiven, washed, accepted and named as one of His children. Now the picture is very different. I am still imperfect and unacceptable to God in my own merit. But He has nevertheless accepted me and looks on me as if I've never sinned.
It's Jesus who has made the difference. When He picked me up in my young age out of the crowd I know it wasn't because I was better than any of them. When I look back I see how I blundered along as a disciple. From my point of view it looked many times as if I had disappointed Him and grieved Him. But He has held on to me and never let go of me because He knew I couldn't manage without Him. That was the same reason why He came after me in the first place, and He wasn't going to give up on me. But by showing grace upon grace He kept pace with me, lifting me up when I fell, encouraging me when I felt like giving up, and challenging me to go on. The attitude of pride that keeps trying to capture me crumbles down the more I see and experience God's grace, His undeserving favour.
When He finally presents me to the Father as one of His prized winnings, all glory would be His.
It's not just for me but for every child of God. Our experiences and circumstances on earth may be somewhat different, but the undeserving favour that we experience from God is just the same--mercy upon mercy and grace upon grace. Our battles are real--against temptation from within ourselves and attacks from Satan. It's not always victory, but He takes us from victory to victory. We are still imperfect and far from being perfect, but He hasn't finished working on us. He will never leave or forsake us even if we feel as if He would. He has promises to keep and His honour to preserve. He will complete what He has begun with us. These earthen vessels that we are will shine more and more with the glory that belongs entirely to Him. We love Him with all our heart. We want His name to be exalted above all.