My time here in Bali has been nothing short of life changing. I’ve witnessed a devotion to family, a kindness to others, unparalleled driving skills, and a reverent faith in action. While their faith is different than my own, I’m moved to love like they love, serve like they serve, and recognize God in every detail of life. The driving … well, that’s just not going to happen.

Each morning here in Bali, the women of the family wake up early and complete a morning routine. They first clean the entire house, then they wash themselves. Most locals bathe in the small rivers flowing through the alleys. Afterwards, they prepare the offering for their entire family. Colorful lowers are gathered along beautiful fresh fruits and placed in meticulously hand woven small baskets. These offerings are placed in their homes, in their yards, in their businesses, in their driveways, even in their cars. It’s a way of thanking God for their provisions and protection. A way of honoring his place in their lives. Then, the women cook the meals for the entire day. Each meal is the same, and each day is like the other. Fried rice or fried noodles with an egg. And finally, they go to work for the day.

The homes are like family compounds. Generations live together and share every meal together. Their home is centered around the family temple which honors God.

Through deep and beautiful conversations with the locals, I’ve come to realize, they worship the same God you and I worship. They simply have many names for God and many rituals to honor him and make themselves righteous before him.

And through all of this, I’ve recognized the beautiful gift we have been given only through Jesus that changes everything for us. We no longer have to strive to be righteous. We no longer have to perform rituals and ceremonies. God hears even our simplest of prayers no matter where we are because of the GRACE offered to us through Christ. This grace changes everything for a Christian.

Paul wrote to the Israelites in Romans 10: 2-4, “ I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.”

What is God’s way of making you right with him? Is it chanting in a temple? Is it a daily offering? Is it burning incense or sacrifices? It used to be. And for some beautiful people I’ve met here in Bali, perhaps it is still their way. I’m not here to judge that, just as they do not judge me. But I personally recognize Jesus replaced every ritual and overcame every obstacle with his ultimate sacrifice. Now, it is only the grace offered through Jesus that makes us right with God.

Honey, if you have Jesus, God fully accepts you as righteous. You’re forgiven. You’re covered.

Now, here’s the problem … If I can be completely honest, we often waste the grace.

Romans 11:6, “And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.”

When we are given something free and undeserved, we often grow to take it for granted and forget it’s even there. My sister, I pray we remember what we have been given by Jesus. I pray we are absolutely blown away by God’s kindness to us, without our necessary works. I pray God’s grace would never grow old on us, but change us from the inside out.

We as Christians no longer have to perform rituals to be accepted by God. We’re no longer separated from God and kept at a distance. That curtain of separation was torn on the cross moments before Jesus breathed his final breath. Through God’s direct intervention from heaven, he tore the curtain that guards his presence. This curtain was a metaphor for what truly blocked entrance into God’s presence, then and now. It was the empty externalism of going through the motions.

May we never just go through the motions. May every day of living be a beautiful offering before our God. May we see his fingerprints in the details of our lives and honor his faithfulness. May his light shine so bright within us that others are drawn to Jesus. May his grace never lose it’s beauty on us.

Hebrews 10: 19-20, “We can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.”

I’m on a journey of discovering this new and life-giving way offered by Jesus. I’m trying to never take this grace for granted, while remembering to honor God in the details of living. I could never earn what he has offered, but I can sure try to be grateful for it every moment.

Want to join me on that journey?

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