rebellion and grace

Posted: July 22nd, 2010 | Filed under: God | Tags: | 2 Comments »

It’s easy to feel like you can never be rescued when you’ve knowingly ‘squandered your inheritance’ and hit bottom. Why should you be rescued, after all? It was your choice and you knew better.

The amazing thing about God is He can see worth in what has, so far, proven to be worthless.

We all make bad choices. We all ‘know better’.

Grace is rebellious. It’s disagreeable. It supersedes the rules and reaches places that most would never want to travel.

“Is there a person here who, finding one of your lambs fallen into a ravine, wouldn’t, even though it was a Sabbath, pull it out?” -Jesus, Matthew 12:11

There are people out there who have the foundational belief that grace is only made available to people who make the right choices. That doesn’t even make sense. The message is: You’ve messed up big time, but God will forgive you and bless you if you just do the right thing. If you make the wrong choice, I don’t know how God could ever redeem this.

People actually send these messages. What the heck kind of God are they serving if there is actually a possibility that you could go so far in the wrong direction that He wouldn’t know how to save you? There is such a strange desperate energy from people who are spouting off the eternal death sentence of hell for those they’re trying to shock into submission.

People have a limited capacity for patience, grace and suffering. They take their own limitations and personify God according to them. The degree of pride is repulsive. I wonder if they ever take their god off the leash and let him run around.

Grace isn’t a cupcake shaped pillow sitting on a daybed in the guest room of some out of touch fairy godmother wannabe.

Grace makes people mad. They’re so out of touch with the awful (as in awe-inspiring) magnitude of what the sacrifice of Jesus means, that it’s offensive. Grace says something and the do-it-yourself religious don’t like what it says.

I understand the fear of someone getting away with the pain and hurt that the selfishness of sin causes. There has to be a payment made.

Oh, but there was. Don’t you remember? The truth that saved you is the very same truth that saves them. Were you so unchanged by your experience with the thunderous roar of the Lamb of God that you doubt the salvation power for someone you deem ‘worse’ than you?

Grace always wins and it doesn’t need the approval of self-tainted man. It doesn’t matter if you’re the only one who trusts that what Jesus did was enough to cover the nakedness of what you’ve done. You don’t have to fear the judgment of men when they have nothing to do with your eternal lodging.

‘Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life–body and soul–in his hands.’ -Matthew 10:28

Don’t you dare start pointing your finger at those who have their finger pointed at you. That’s you entering a paintball match of morality with no point and no winner. If they lose, you lose. If you lose, they lose. Like it or not, you’re in it together. Everybody gets to feel what it’s like to be completely wrong. This is me rolling out the welcome mat.

It’s one thing to be dealing with your own sin, don’t be cheap and try to alleviate your guilt by comparing it with the guilt of others.

For you who hear about the crazy power of grace, you say you agree but feel the overwhelming impulse to cap it off with the responsibility to live a moral life. You’re trying to sound so smart and religious. It’s the same thing as telling someone not to dive in three feet of water or not to strap your toddler’s car seat to the hood of the car.

‘What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How shall we who died in sin still live in it?’ Romans 6:1-2 ESV

If someone even cares about grace, it’s because they can’t find a time machine to go back to the day they chose wrong. Do you think that grace makes them forget wanting to make different choices? Grace doesn’t erase a person’s memory, it erases their guilt. It gives them the chance to do it right the next time around.

But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in the competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life–a life that goes on and on and on, world without end. -Romans 5:20-21

All sin can do is threaten us with death.’ If you’re sending someone, who’s taken a wrong turn, scary messages of damnation and eternal destruction, then you’re speaking for sin. Threatening with death. You are the mouth piece of sin. You are the audible voice of sin. Tell me again, who are you speaking for?

There is a message that saves. It’s that message that makes the do-it-yourselfers squirm in their control tops and clip-on ties. Here is that message….

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use to him.’ -Romans 5:6-8

rng


2 Comments »


2 Comments on “rebellion and grace”

  1. 1 Melissa said at 1:07 pm on July 22nd, 2010:

    so much truth here…and I need to be diligent to show grace in the face of rebellion.

    my mom and i co-wrote a short story that i posted today…and she did that…she extended such mercy and grace when i was exposed (and continues to!) and it drew me so much closer to Him.

    thank you for your heart to see us live in christ!

  2. 2 janelle said at 4:56 am on July 23rd, 2010:

    serena your posts this week have been truly

    amazing and deep. you are helping me see

    God's grace in a different light – i grew up with the type of "grace if you deserve it or earn it"

    you are enlightening my path to see truth not

    condemnation~~thank you


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