Silver haired and sharply dressed in a navy blue blazer, his eyes twinkled as he greeted everyone. I recognized him from his many albums and live concerts I had attended, but this was the first time I had been introduced in person to this Grammy nominated jazz pianist. I was the guest of a family friend who invited me to dinner to celebrate his son’s 17th birthday. I had been giving guitar lessons to him for the past year and his parents wanted to surprise him by having me over for dinner and bringing my guitar so we could have a jam session. I did not know they were friends with this jazz pianist, who was also invited. I was embarrassed and quietly confided to the parents, “I can’t play guitar in the presence of this master!”
The parents reassured me that he loves playing with everyone, regardless of their level of talent. Reluctantly I agreed. The three of us launched into several well known jazz standards. As the music swirled through the room I marveled at his musical artistry, deftly crafting his own melodic and harmonic re-workings of these familiar tunes, making us all sound much better than we were. He is a world class jazz pianist. I am an amateur jazz guitarist. Although I was grateful for the opportunity to play with him, one thought repeated in my mind. “I don’t deserve to be here.”
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)
When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I received salvation and eternal life. However, I continued to struggle with recurring doubts. I was burdened with my sins. I felt so unworthy to receive salvation and eternal life. The blunt answer and stark reality is I AM unworthy. God knows this. There is nothing I or anyone can ever do that can earn salvation. It is a gift from God, given to me and all who believe in Him by His grace.
I didn’t deserve the graciousness of this master jazz pianist who allowed me to play with him. I didn’t deserve the salvation my heavenly Father graciously extended to me through faith and belief in His Son, Jesus Christ. In both instances, I am thankful for the opportunity that was given to me.
Thanks be to God for His magnificent grace and mercy!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.