Nearly twenty years ago, Amy and Sean McNulty were preparing to leave for their honeymoon. Sean believed that he left his wallet in the car and he went back to find it, but he did not return to his new bride. Instead, police found him covered in bug bites and wandering near a hotel… three days later. He had no memory, whatsoever.
Without physical or psychological trauma, doctors didn’t have a clue where this amnesia originated from. One year later, on his first wedding anniversary, all of his memories came back to him suddenly as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.
I would believe that Sean McNulty would admit to the difficulties in building a life around who others tell you that you are. Can you imagine attempting to understand a job without memory of what your responsibilities are? Can you imagine relearning the names, personalities, and commonalities of all of those you considered your closest friends and family? As if these things weren’t complicated enough, how would you begin to understand your purpose in life or what even motivates you day in and day out? That’s quite a haze…
We may not realize it, but spiritual amnesia is not nearly as rare as this man’s loss of memory. We so often forget some of the most important tenants of our faith. What are some of these core teachings we can sometimes leave behind in an amnesia-like faith? I will allow you to flesh that out in your personal study of God’s Word as He pursues your heart, but one that we forget so often and is so prevalent throughout history is a forgetfulness about God’s grace in our lives. God meant for it to be our fuel and motivation while living the Christian life, but it can so easily fade away, leaving us without direction. A telling sign of grace-amnesia is a constant nagging in our hearts, whether consciously or unconsciously, to work hard, prove our righteousness, and earn favor before God.
Suddenly we forget the most beautiful aspect of our faith which teaches us that “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). You don’t have to perform great tasks or earn great accolades to know you will be in heaven. Even when God knew of your sin and recognized that you were an enemy to Him, what did He do? “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
Do you know that in the deepest depths of your soul? You receive salvation, not because you earned it, but because God has gifted it to you freely through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:24). This is our motivation. This is our purpose. Good works do not purchase salvation but they give life to your testimony in the world and they bring glory to God (James 2:14-26). All aspects of life are fueled because God’s grace showed up on the scene and brought salvation for all people and therefore, we don’t just live lives that revolve around us, but we live outwardly – being zealous not for our own good but in order to present ourselves as salt and light to the world (Titus 2:11-14; Matt. 5:13-16).
Today, allow God’s grace to comfort and secure you in a salvation that was purchased solely with His blood. Then, in gratefulness for all that He has done, show the world a relationship with Christ that overflows His goodness and you will have a faith that is alive with works (James 2:14-26).
Love you all,
Young Adult Minister – Evan McNeff
Wonderful Grace of Jesus | Lillenas
“Wonderful grace of Jesus, Greater than all my sin; How shall my tongue describe it, Where shall its praise begin? Taking away my burden, Setting my spirit free; For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me. Wonderful grace of Jesus, Reaching to all the lost; By it I have been pardoned, Saved to the uttermost, Chains have been torn asunder, Giving me liberty; For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me. Wonderful grace of Jesus, Reaching the most defiled, By its transforming power, Making him God’s dear child, Purchasing peace and heaven, For all eternity; And the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me. Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus, Deeper than the mighty rolling sea, Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain, All sufficient grace for even me, Broader than the scope of my transgressions, Greater far than all my sin and shame, O magnify the precious name of Jesus, Praise His name!”