Sunday, May 17th 2015
“By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
Far too often I have thought higher of myself and that I was safe. I have thought “Well, I’m not as bad as that person” and “At least I’ve got it more together than they do” and believing that because I’m better, I receive a “get out of hell, free” card. I created a smokescreen for myself to render my thoughts to believe that I deserved Jesus. I designed a ruse to disguise my real intentions and activities FOR MYSELF. How stupid is that? I put in all this hard, useless work to try and trick myself into believing that I was worthy of grace. This consumed me and it was exhausting. Creating this facade for myself on a day to day basis; battling the bible to fit my material needs and make my immoral decisions moral. I was defining the Bible to me instead of me being defined by the Bible. And I still do this from time to time. Probably more often than I realize.
How naive am I to think that I deserve His grace and the kingdom of heaven?!
I have spent majority of my short 21 years of life trying to convince myself that I am someone bigger; someone off on a better foot with Jesus than everyone else. In Genesis 3:19, in a lens of black and white, it says: “for DUST you are”.
I am merely dust.
Have you ever looked up a definition for dust? Here’s a few:
- a low or humble condition
- anything worthless
- disturbance; turmoil
- the mortal body of a human being
These definitions help remind me that I need to get off my high horse. We are low, feeble creatures compared to the Almighty and because we are human and God granted us free will, we are born sinners and naturally drawn to sin throughout our materialistic existence. Dust is the mortal body of a human being. Being dust sounds awful. Not that the word itself is appealing.
There are other definitions that show why being dust is a wonderful thing:
- the ground; earth’s surface
- the substance to which something, as the dead human body, is ultimately reduced by disintegration or decay; earthly remains.
Take a look at the Earth. It is beautiful and complex; wonderful and astonishing. God designed each and every one of us. He is engrained in our genes. He delicately created us and placed us on this beautiful planet. Even though it is sort of morbid (decaying and reducing to earthly remains and all), he is in us and he will never leave us while we return to the Earth from which he made us.
We are merely dust. Nothing more but nothing less. And God has intentionally made us that way.
This is when I started to discover God’s never-ending love and grace. After my realization of being dust, I started to wonder: “I am nothing but a feeble mortal being who has done nothing but ignore my calling as a follower of Christ and cripple my reputation as a Christian. Why has God not striked me yet?!” I was discussing this with my mom one day and she mentioned being sealed with the Holy Spirit and took me to Ephesians 1:13-14:
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.”
God will still claim me even though I am worthless; even though I am dust.
“…you were marked in him with a seal,…”
The word marked is defined as: strikingly noticeable, specifying on additional element of meaning. This means that I stand out to Him. God has claimed me and he looks at me and sees worth. Seal(ed) is defined as: a mark, sign, symbol, or the like, serving as visible evidence of authenticity. He has sealed himself within me, within us so we have an equal and guaranteed opportunity to inherit the riches of heaven. When we allow God into our hearts, to take over, he impresses a seal upon us as proof of exact quality. We are exactly enough and what he wants. It is overwhelming to know that that much grace is given to me. No matter how many times I mess up and stumble, I can ask for forgiveness and know that I am still loved.
I overestimate my worth and underestimate His grace.
God could put me in his palm and blow me into the wind; out of existence. Even though I am merely dust… I am marked and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
I have worth. I am claimed. By God’s mercy and grace, I am sealed dust.