Q: What is grace? "It's a girls name, something people say before they eat, ...ummm oh yeah, i've heard it mentioned at church. Something to do with Jesus?"
From my time serving the local church I have noticed that many so called believers have taken the grace that God gives us and have made it common. Common, whereas there is no major (life-altering) value attached. I am aware of the theological teachings and discussions surrounding Common Grace and Saving Grace, but that's not what I'm talking about in this post. One thing that should set Christ followers apart from the world around us is how we live in the light of receiving God's grace, His unmerited favor, knowing that there is nothing I could do to gain it, to earn it, or to deserve it...yet I have it. Shouldn't that (God's Grace) affect our lives in more ways than what we choose to do on Sunday mornings, some Wednesdays, or how we spend 10% of our incomes?
Thus, I come to the point that some have made His grace in our lives, common. There is nothing common about a person dying for another. There is nothing common about paying another persons debt. There is nothing common about a guilty person not receiving their just punishment. This is where grace enters and only a grace that God could give. A grace that is pure and holy that is completely overt. In Ephesians 1:7-8a the the apostle Paul writes, "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us," God has offered to each of us his sin forgiving grace. A grace that keeps one from spending an eternity separated in torment. Once one receives that grace, that rich grace, that underserved grace, that grace Jesus Christ died and defeated death for so we could have...he lavishes it upon us, he pours it out over our sin, he gives it without limit.
This is far from common. I don't want to be common. I don't want to live a common life. I want to live a life that allows God to use me to change the world where He has placed me. I want to leave an amazing legacy. I want to have amazing relationships. I want to experience and see amazing life-change. But all this amazingness is only possible because of God's amazing grace.
Will you choose today to not be common? Choose to live the amazing life. Let God's grace, His rich and glorious grace, be lavished over and through you. Today, show your world his amazing His grace, by what you say and what you do.
A draft from May that I have revisited:
I escaped to the front poarch of my brothers semi-country Kentucky house this AM in an attempt to do a little reading. Cousins were inside watching cartoons, hollering, chasing the dog...doing what cousins who only get to see each other limited times a year get to do. So instead of asking them to quiet down or play peacefully, I chose extraction as the most logical decision.
When I came to a stopping point in my book, i looked up and listened. That's when I heard the symphony. Have you ever tried to pick out different birds by the sounds they were making? In just a few minutes I had distinguished eight different sounding birds: robins, finches, blue jays, whiperwills, an owl...a few of the ones i could recognize. Not to mention the occasional chirp of a cricket or two.
Have every tried to pay attention to our society and notice the diversity? In the work place, it is the first time ever, that people from four different generations are working side by side. Even within a church, where outsiders think everyone is alike, it doesn't take too long for the realization to be seen that diversity exists.
Personally, I love diversity. Theresa and I love eating new and foreign foods, meeting and getting to know people from different cultures, demographics & eras. There is so much that can we can all learn from each other, so much that we can all teach to each other (I know that's redundant).
While listening to the birds, I thought, "what if all of a sudden, there were no bird sounds? or what if they all made the same sound?" For the hearer: How boring being outside would become. With so much of my life revolving around the church, I am thankful for diversity in the church. Thankful for diversity in music preferences, teaching and learning styles, and for what fellowship looks like across the generations (we all love a good potluck).
Christ Follower, Husband, Father, Student Pastor, and Lover of all things Garlic and Bacon.