Monday, November 27, 2017

Keep Us from Grace This Instant!

The definition of grace freaks us out. Being given something we don’t deserve? Not us, we are Americans. We work hard for our quality of life, our perks, our blessings.

We’ll take gifts on our birthday, or Christmas. That’s because it’s common practice to receive gifts on those days. It’s expected.

Every other day of the year we have filters. Did we do something to earn something? Then we’ll receive it. Did we work overtime? Then we’ll splurge. Did we tap into a talent or skill that brought a valuable return? Then we’ll accept it. Because when we somehow have a part in something good, we can rightfully claim it.

But grace …

What is it about grace that makes us squirm in our seats? Even bolt out of the room?

Grace as grace is offered regardless. It does not know the words “deserve” or “earn.”

Grace doesn’t make sense.

Grace from anyone else, from ourselves, from God. Grace is so slippery we don’t even want to try to grasp it. Just let it slide on by, please. Hurry along to the next person. Grace is nice for others, but not for us. It may bless someone who’s in dire straits, but not us. We are strivers, thank you very much. And we’d like to keep it that way.

Plus, grace throws everything off balance.

Grace from others:
We may receive it a time or two, but we can see the scoreboard in their minds. We will owe them.

If this is our perception of grace, we are mistaken.

Grace from ourselves:
We may flirt with it a time or two, but we certainly can’t be regular with it. Too much grace could ruin us. What if we cease to remain responsible adults, turning instead into sloths?

If this is our perception of grace, we are mistaken.

Grace from God:
Sure, He can find it within Himself to pardon our giant sin of unbelief and grant us eternal salvation when we place our trust in Him. But that’s it. Grace for the hundredth time we fall helpless to our addictions? Grace for the millionth time we put ourselves ahead of our loved ones? There’s no way that kind of grace is real.

If this is our perception of grace, we are mistaken.

What if you’re hiding behind the idea that grace is incomprehensible, and therefore you avoid it? What if, simply because you’re more comfortable striving and earning your way through life, you’re suffocating your own soul, living at half-mast?

What if you threw your sense of checks and balances to the wind, and instead got swept away by the breathtaking rhythms of God’s abundant grace? What if you fell into grace like you fall into love … uninhibited, terrified, exhilarated, full of wonder?

What if grace became the undoing of you … in the safest, most loving place you’ve ever known? What might happen then? 

“… it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace.”
Hebrews 13:9

“… and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 1:14

“… from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”
John 1:16

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