"From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:16-17)
Grace in place of grace.
Everything about these five words makes me want that. Something in my heart skips a beat when I hear them and comes alive, because these words are a promise from the one who knows everything about my heart, and they mean that I can never fall too far out of reach of Jesus' saving love. They mean I can never turn away or choose sin over the perfect love of my Father so many times that Jesus' grace won't be there to bring me back to him.
Jesus' promise of devotion, loyalty and faithfulness to me, that no matter what I do or who I am he will be the same and have the same passionate, unending love for me that keeps giving me goodness even when I don't deserve it, amazes me. He's got me and isn't letting go. He is the security I long to fall into, the security I need.
What means the most to me is that God has already given each of us grace in place of grace. The law has been replaced with the grace and truth of Jesus Christ, so that this grace upon grace isn't something we can earn, but something we already have and "from his fullness we have all received."
I could never even imagine how deep and beautiful God's fullness is, but it's something he's given to each of us, despite the fact that we fall so short of deserving it. That only makes the gift that much better, that when we didn't deserve it, God still wanted to give it to us (and did).
Jesus isn't going to pack up his love and grace and leave you because your life has gotten too messy or too sad or you've messed up too many times. His desire to pour goodness and blessings into your life isn't going to stop because you feel like you don't deserve it.
You are not unlovable. In fact, you are loved passionately by a God who has always loved you and always will and who will bless your life with his grace a million times if that's what it takes to make you believe it.
Every moment of our lives, we are being offered a new beginning. To leave behind the sadness, emptiness and mess ups of the past and to choose to accept the grace that has already been poured over it.
Jesus' hand is outstretched to us, and he is calling us to himself, to his love, to the way he desperately wants to wrap us in his arms and hold us there. He is calling us to him, calling us beyond our fears and failures, past things we deserve to be repaid for with not-so-good things, into his perfect love, because he can't stand to be apart.
Grace in place of grace. This is what we are covered in. It's what Jesus does, it's who Jesus is.
Mia Pohlman is a Perryville, Mo., native studying at Truman State University. She loves performing, God and the color purple -- not necessarily in that order.