Wednesday, October 3, 2007

In The Grip of Grace

I was talking to my sister about starting my own blog, and mentioned that I felt like I didn't have anything to talk about. The truth is, that wasn't actually an accurate statement. I have so much to share about what the Lord has been teaching me. I also have some awesome friends and family who care about me and what's happening in my life, so this will be a nice way to keep them updated. I plan to spend my next blog talking about my current life, but I wanted to start off with what God's been doing in my life. I'll start by explaining my choice in blog names. I'm in the middle of Max Lucado's book "In the Grip of Grace," and learning so much! As he describes the various incorrect views people take of God's grace, I have found that pieces of several of them have seeped into my own view. I can be so much like the "rock-stacking legalist." I have known for as long as I can remember that the definition of grace is "a free gift I don't deserve," but so often I forget the free part. I feel a need to earn it. Of course, there is no way that I can earn it, but I try anyway. God's sacrifice of His only son is so far beyond comparison to anything I will ever do, yet I still find myself working hard to be involved in as many church activities as possible. Not that I'm saying these church activities are wrong. I'm so thankful for the activities I'm able to do, and wish I had time to do more. What's wrong are my motives when I approach them. I shouldn't be doing them to fulfill my debt, because I'll never be able to. Then I saw a little bit of myself in his description of the "fault-finding judgmentalist." How often do I justify my sins and ineptitudes by pointing out that they were not as great as someone else's? God doesn't care that I think my "white lie" should be completely eclipsed by the fact that I know someone who has told a "worse lie." Both are sins. It's only by the redeeming grace of God that we can be saved. How incredible that I can have known that for so long and still lose sight of it. My human nature and pride gets in the way so often. The concept of a free gift of that magnitude doesn't fit into the world we live in today. God doesn't want me to spend my life trying to pay Him back, because I can't. As Paul said in Ephesians 4, God wants me to walk worthy of the calling to which I have been called. I want to live my life in a manner which will cause people around me to question the difference they see in me, and then be able to answer them unashamedly. I know that this is not something I can do on my own strength, and that it will be achieved only through the power of God. A couple of verse on this topic of grace which have stood out to me and provided such a needed reminder are 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. "But he [God] 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. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." How cool is that? How counterintuitive to the way I think. When I am weak I am strong? Absolutely. Thank you Jesus that this is true, because I am so weak and incapable. I think this is probably enough for now.:o) I really didn't mean for it to be this long, but I am excited to share how God's been working on my heart. If you are looking for a book to read, I highly recommend "In the Grip of Grace." It's so worth it.

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