Scandalous Grace

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9, Holy Bible, New International Version

By Zack Funk
Christ Church Director of Student Ministries

My story can be defined in one word. GRACE! I have done a lot of wrong in my life thus far. Too much to list. I wish I could say that all of these sins were done before I knew Jesus, but that’s not true either. I was raised in a non-Christian household in a nice home with parents that I love dearly, but we were not a church family. Honestly, as a kid, I had no idea that people actually went to church every week. I figured church was something weird that everyone did on Christmas and Easter.

Going into junior high school I became a little mischievous to say the least. This was where the tailspin began. Looking back on junior high, one of the memories that stands out the most is not a good memory. I bullied another student, although I didn’t necessarily know that I was “bullying” him until he brought a knife to school. He had a hit list and I was number three on that list. That was a game-changer for me. I realized for the first time that my actions could really hurt someone. I didn’t realize then exactly what I needed, but I later learned that it was grace.

The next year was the turning point for my life, whether I knew it or not. My 8th grade choir teacher, who I didn’t see eye to eye with, invited me to be a part of her Christian Choir Group called Encounter. She did not necessarily want to invite me, but she felt a strong pull from God to do so. I wish I could tell you that I joined for the right reasons, but that would be a lie. I most definitely was not in the group to find a relationship with Christ; I was in the group to find a girlfriend. Here’s the deal, God can use any situation to flip your life around, even if you are in that situation for the wrong reason. Sometimes we forget that our God is almighty, and all powerful, and His plan is infinitely greater than our wildest dreams. Christ used an 8th grade teacher that I didn’t like to draw me closer to Him. Christ used me to show that 8th grade teacher that God can use anyone He wants. I was in the group for the wrong reasons, but God won, and I came to know Christ as my personal Lord and Savior my junior year in Encounter. One night as we were singing praises to our King, all the lyrics started to make sense, and I’ve never looked back.

“One night as we were singing praises to our King, all the lyrics started to make sense, and I’ve never looked back.”

When I became a Christian, I still made a barrage of mistakes. So much so that I realized that I really needed grace. The bigger the mistake, the more grace I needed. Unfortunately, I had to make quite a few mistakes to realize that I needed quite a bit of grace. Then I started to feel unworthy of that grace until the day that someone set me straight. She said, “When you get serious with God, He gets serious with you.” His Grace is sufficient. Even for YOU.

I’ve made it my mission as a student director to show students the grace of Jesus. Our culture is full of things that make our kids stumble and fall, Christians or not. My goal is to show every student that no matter what, God is standing here with arms wide open. Repent and run away from your sin. Run to the cross. You won’t be perfect, and you’ll make more mistakes, but learn from this. Learn to walk closer, and closer, and closer with Christ, and you won’t want to ever turn back to the sin that you were in. When you get serious with God, He gets serious with you. Run to Him. His grace is sufficient for you. It was, and is, for a sinner like me.

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