This is kind of like a first date, so just know I’ll pay for the dinner tab and open the door as we walk different places along the way. And I am eager for your call next month for date #2 (wink-wink).
Each month I’ve been given the humbling opportunity to speak some truth of encouragement and perspective into your lives using scripture through this magazine. My great hope for us is that no matter what background, cultural context, or faith you camp in that you would walk away having read this emboldened, encouraged and lighter as you do life.
But, before we get rolling let me introduce myself, my name is Adam Bretz. I am a new account executive with VUE magazine and one of the Lead Pastors at a new non-denominational Church plant called Restoration Paducah. I am a husband to a smoking hot blonde. I am a father to an exceptionally adorable 6 month-old named Jackson; and yes, he is exceptionally adorable. I am a soul shaper. I’m a sail hoister. But most importantly I am nobody. I am a nobody, who met a somebody, who loves everybody and can change anybody and His name is Jesus.
I may not know you, and you may not know me, but I do know at least one thing about you, and it’s this: God knows every single thing about you and still He loves you ferociously.
He knows every thought you’ve ever had. He’s seen every step you’ve taken. He has heard every word you’ve spoken. He knows your friends and your favorite foods. He’s watched you succeed and stumble. He knows the things about you that would make other people turn and run. And still, God loves you. Welcome to grace.
Grace is a perplexing term. Titus 2:11 says, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,” clarifying that grace isn’t just something you say before dinner and bedtime, but it’s actually a person to live for. You need to know that this means God loves imperfect people. In fact, if you’ve ever felt inadequate, or incompetent, or incapable even in the slightest way, you my friend are a prime candidate for grace.
God’s unmerited favor towards you demonstrates His strength rather than His weakness. It’s not that He is a weak God who attaches Himself to weak people. Rather it’s that He is a strong God who is powerful in our weakness. It says to us that grace is a place for anyone.
This theme is consistent throughout the Bible. Jesus illustrated it in the fact that he recruited average Joes who swung hammers, and caught fish, and collected taxes, (the disciples) to change the history of the world. God’s kingdom isn’t just for the “best ones” but it’s for everyone. I believe history tends to repeat itself and that change in our communities will too once again come from those guys and gals who love Jesus and cuss a little too; who are imperfect.
The sooner we give up the illusion that the church needs to be perfect, and I need to be perfect, and you need to be perfect for God to love us – – the sooner we’ll start healing.
Understanding the width, and breadth, and length, and depth of God’s gracious love for you will at minimum do one thing in your life: it will saturate your heart with kindness for the people you do life with.
And I’m not sure about what impossible situation you’re facing, or where you are in need but just know that at this table there’s always room for some grace.
Because He Lives, Pastor AB