Five years ago, I didn’t know what the word “grace” meant. Seriously. I was working at Trinity Christian College at the time and was required to use Christanese language, Dutch Christanese at that, and one of the words that seemed to come up a lot was grace. I knew how to use it in a sentence, but remember asking my coworkers what the word meant. Even with their descriptions, I still didn’t have a clue.
Now, I’m an ardent fan — nay, not just fan, but defender — of grace. I find myself agreeing with the words in Acts 20:24
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”
For so much of my life, there was no grace and no mercy in my life. None. No redemption for failure. But, five years ago, when I needed grace the most, God started to reveal what that word meant.
Most Christians seem to think of grace in this form: “We’re dirt, we’re scum, but God is so wonderful that He offers us a chance to live and breathe.” While that may be doctrinally sound in that we are but wisps of air, our life fleeting, I don’t think God would like us to think of ourselves as scum. I think that definition goes against His plan of grace. And to be honest, I think that definition fits “mercy” a bit more.
I’ve found that grace is truly the influence and spirit of God operating in me to regenerate and strengthen me. I can’t do this Christian life thing. In fact, living the religious Christian lifestyle is detestable to me. More striving? More doing? No thank you. It’s nausating to think of that “live it right — get in line” lifestyle again.
I’ll choose grace. I’ll choose to believe that Jesus really did rise, and He can enter in to me and change me if need be. Not that I strive to be like Him, but that I yield unto Him taking over.
My assistant pastor provided the key questions for me last night, though. He said “In what ways are we functioning as if Jesus wasn’t victorious over sin and death. In what ways are we acting as if the veil wasn’t torn? As though we are still under the law?”
What ways is the condemnation over me that I can’t breathe? That I am stressed out and feeling like scum?
Those are the things I’m bringing before the Lord this morning. For grace calls out to be free from sin, yes. Absolutely. But also to be free from the law.
My favorite version of the song for today is is at the link below. The song begins at 4:43.
For the non-facebookers, click on Grace Calls Out, Rewrite #2. This one is a little different, but it’s still good.