(ESV) Romans 3:23-25 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
If I had to choose a verse or verses that describe Jenna’s and my life, I would probably be able to make a good argument for the above verses in Paul’s letter to the Romans. For we both, trying to control our own lives, fell way short of the glory of God. Out of our selfish actions and attempt to move our own lives forward, a lot of strife, arguments, struggles, disappointments and poor choices were made. And by the grace of God, a great son came out of the chaos that we created.
But God, having greater plans for us than we could imagine and much different plans than what we could ever think, put into motion events that would eventually lead to the breaking down of each of us so that we turned to His son Jesus Christ. Once we started to heed to His will, things started to happen, both big and little but all leading to greater faith in Him.
I call it the “Are You Kidding Me!” factor. This factor increased as we kept following the will of God. The first “Are You Kidding Me!” was me moving to California. For me it was because I had always said I would never move to California on many occasions. For Jenna, it was because it was an answered prayer for me to be close to our son. The second was when we started “noticing” each other, then the time we were actually dating, then engaged and then, naturally, when we were married. Just when I thought I was getting used to one level of the “Are You Kidding Me!” factor, it would change and I would find myself in that surreal feeling again.
Looking back at each of these levels, I know I did nothing by myself. I have never had the same feeling that I had in these moments when I did do it on my own. I know that these factors were a gift.
“And (we) are justified by His grace as a gift,” Romans 3:24
In the last two years, God has done amazing works in both Jenna and myself. We have been made anew even more so. With each struggle and triumph, with each let down and uplifting moment, with each trial and victory we continue to get closer to God and rely on Him more and more. Our first response to events are more and more looking to Christ and praising Him. We have our moments, but thanks to His grace, one of us will re-focus us both back onto the Cross.
So, telling God’s story through the use of two fallen sinners who received His gift of grace by faith, continues with the proof of His righteousness. By His redeeming our relationship with Him first and then with each other, along with two boys as our family, second, the proof is through His blessing our family with the gift of another child of God.
Yes, this is my way of announcing that Jenna is pregnant and that we are expecting a child in late March, 2012.
Here’s the cool part… We were married on August 28th, which could be written 8/28. One of our favorite verses is Romans 8:28 (And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.) So naturally, (at least for me, I’m weird with numbers like that) I decided that I would look up Romans 3:24 & 25 as March 24 & 25 are the dates, depending on where we looked, as to when we are expecting. I was blown away at verse 24 and excited to see God’s love and redemption culminate in such a wonderful manner.
I pray that this story of God’s love and redeeming grace motivates you to put faith in Him and Him alone.