“For the grace of God has been revealed…” Titus 2:11
Cassie’s life was one of stern rules and regulations laid out by a cold, impersonal father whose only satisfaction seemed to come from pointing out everyone’s flaws and short comings. Her mother, although softer and kinder, was unable to come against the will of her father and offered Cassie little comfort with tiny patches of love.
Cassie became very obedient to authority while sacrificing any spontaneity or outward expressions of love. She was robotic, loveless and unhappy. Her friends thought her dedicated and serious. She masterfully masked her true feelings after years of programming in her home.
Without understanding why, most of our lives are programmed in the environment called home. Life’s essentials, such as how food is prepared, trips are taken, houses are decorated (or not), and how people interact carves niches into our minds and hearts, establishing invisible guidelines that help or hinder. Only God, through His divine love can reshape those patterns and mold them into His idea of perfection.
Another important aspect of Cassie’s home life was religion. Her parents were very religious and the family attended church twice per week and more often during special evangelical meetings during the year. Still absent was the freedom and love offered by Jesus Christ. Her church meetings and any others were rule-bound and rigid.
But, in her twenty-fifth year, 2,000 miles away from home, Cassie was introduced to Love, Forgiveness, Mercy, Grace and Salvation. Cassie met Jesus Christ and His forgiving love flooded her heart. She thought she would burst with joy; a joy totally absent thus far in her life. She grew and prospered in this new revelation. Her life finally had purpose, wrapped in His love.
- Titus 2:11-14 For the free gift of eternal salvation is now being offered to everyone; 12 and along with this gift comes the realization that God wants us to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures and to live good, God-fearing lives day after day, 13 looking forward to that wonderful time we’ve been expecting, when his glory shall be seen—the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. 14 He died under God’s judgment against our sins so that he could rescue us from constant falling into sin and make us his very own people, with cleansed hearts and real enthusiasm for doing kind things for others.
- 1 Peter 1:18-20 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.
The moment Cassie understood that Jesus loved her so intensely that He willingly submitted to a horrific torture and death so she could experience that intense love and more…forgiveness of sins, she wept in submission and bathed in His eternal promise. At last she found a reason to live.
- 2 Timothy 1:9-10 God is the one who saved and called us with a holy calling. This wasn’t based on what we have done, but it was based on his own purpose and grace that he gave us in Christ Jesus before time began.10 Now his grace is revealed through the appearance of our savior, Christ Jesus. He destroyed death and brought life and immortality into clear focus through the good news.
- Ephesians 2:8-10 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
In the small church of committed believers in Christ, they called Cassie to the altar and told her they wanted to lay hands on her and pray a prayer from the Bible. Surrounded by such love, Cassie experienced an awakening and understanding of the power of God’s love as they prayed the following:
- Ephesians 3:16-20 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.