Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ahhh-mazing Grace


 As Christians we all seem to think we have a handle on grace but very seldom live like we do. I have been on a journey these past two years and though I know I am just barely grazing the surface, I wanted to gush about what I’ve come to realize.

During this process, first I decided that I really had to tame my ego and humble myself—nothing I do can merit God’s grace, his love, his favor, or forgiveness. If I could earn it with good works and obedience, doesn't that belittle what Christ did on the cross? It is His righteousness that saves us… it really has nothing to do with me or how holy I am. How many commandments I can follow and how sinless I can be. 

The Bible very clearly states that we ALL fall short, and yet His love is greater than our sin. Pretty awesome right?

So the big debate on this is if we run wild with this idea of grace, what is to keep us from embracing sin and lawlessness… after all, he’ll forgive us. It seems like grace would give us a free pass to sin, but in fact, if you can grasp what that grace really means, it’s quite the opposite.

For example, because I grew up in the church and was saved very young, I didn’t really have those dark, wild years as a teen. My testimony isn’t a tale of great transformation, it is a love story about God’s faithfulness.

And my obedience wasn’t rooted in fear of the consequences. Let me explain…

I remember this one conversation I had with my dad. He told me, kind of out of the blue, that if I ever found myself out somewhere, drunk or otherwise compromised, that all I needed to do was call him—no questions, no repercussions—he would come get me and bring me home.

I have one heck of a good daddy! While to some this might seem irresponsible, but in truth it meant that . . . he knew me. Knew that though I wasn't the type to cause trouble, I wasn't above temptation.

None of us are.

This security, this grace that he showed me didn't inspire me to recklessness, it overwhelmed me with love. It told me that he cared more about my safety than the rules or his expectations.


True grace inspires us to obedience.

Never once did I have to call in that favor from my dad—not that I was any thing close to perfect. But I respected and loved my daddy enough that I didn't want to disappoint him.

How much more does God want to shower us with his grace to show us his love?

We're missing the boat when we focus solely on our conduct, because let’s face it—we are gonna screw up.  Probably daily. But following Christ isn't about the rules, our sin, and facing the condemnation for our failures.

And I’m not implying that there is no discipline. As a parent I am learning when my two little handfuls of insanity need a firm hand and when they need a big hug.

It’s just simply… no matter how much junk we just waded through, no matter how deep or numerous the stains, he still throws his arms around us, calls us pure and blameless. You see it isn't about my sin, it’s about HIS LOVE!

It is both a liberating and impossible concept to fully grasp.


If you reduce Christianity to a moral code, you are totally missing the point! His love isn't conditional. Let go of that bondage and get free! 

Talk to me: What have you been taught about grace? Do you feel like it is dangerous to embrace that level of freedom? And do you find it hard to not measure your faith based on how well you control your sin?

15 comments:

  1. I like how your focus is on God...not on us. On what He can make of us, not on what we are.

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    1. Totally! And even more awesome is that when we focus on Him, we can walk in our true identity. :) thank you so much for coming by!

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    2. Love this post :) I agree wholeheartedly. My dad gave me a similar example as a teen - gave me grace when I broke curfew and used it as a spiritual example. Never forgot it, and didn't break curfew again either!

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    3. You and I have had this discussion! :) I love that we have been on this grace journey together!

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  2. I love this AMY! Absolutely.
    Having grown up in a church culture that taught "do this" to ensure your salvation, a weight lifted off my shoulders in my early 20s when I truly began to grasp 'grace'.

    And I believe in God's great freedom, through Christ's sacrifice - absolutely.

    But I also know that, just as parents, God puts up guardrails in our lives to keep us within his circle of protection. His laws and rules guide us in a path that gives our souls the most beautiful rest. However, he knows we're broken, sinful, wreckless drivers - and though we may suffer the consequences of driving outside those guardrails, we never drive too far that his love will not find us.

    That's grace.
    :-)

    Our response to such a love is obedience.
    But our obedience (or lack of obedience) does not hinder his love.

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    1. "His laws and rules guide us in a path that gives our souls the most beautiful rest. However, he knows we're broken, sinful, wreckless drivers - and though we may suffer the consequences of driving outside those guardrails, we never drive too far that his love will not find us." -I love how you put this! Couldn't agree more! you're awesome, pepper!

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  3. Ah, me and my journey to embracing grace instead of clinging to the confines of "do this, don't do that" legalism.
    I hate to admit it, but my road to grace carved right through my own stubbornness and even a season when I doubted God's trustworthiness.
    And yet, when I hit my knees, asking God to forgive me, He met me with (what else?) His grace. There was no period of penance. No "you distanced yourself from me, so now you're gonna have to work really, really, really hard to bridge that gap you created."
    No ... there was grace. And forgiveness. And love.
    Immediate.
    And, yes, amazing.

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  4. Oh, we've all been there, Beth! That's the amazing thing about God and his grace, no matter how far you run from him, you don't have to find your way back through the maze of your mistakes--you only have to turn around. :) You are poignant and insightful as ever, my dear friend. Thanks for always stopping by!

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  5. I love how you wrote it's about HIS LOVE!

    And living in freedom like that--that's what it's all about. Blown away to accept it. Humbled beyond belief.

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  6. I have been a Christian since I was 12 years old. I was always under the impression that I was saved by grace, but it was often implied that I better watch my step after that. I felt that if I didn't ask forgiveness from each sin quickly, that I would not be forgiven. I guess I knew deep down that God wasn't a hard taskmaster like that. It wasn't until the past few years that I had a true revelation of His amazing grace! I walk free in His unconditional love and forgiveness, and it has been so easy to share that revelation with the world around me. It is the revelation of His grace that will set people free!

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  7. It is incredibly freeing, I agree that it will change christians perspectives and can reach through all the hypocrisy and change lives. Such an incredible truth right under our noises. I love what you wrote! Thanks for sharing your story of grace.

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  8. Beautifully said, Amy. Raising children definitely enhanced my understanding of God's grace and how precious it is.

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