Monday, January 30, 2012

grace living

Grace is not an easy word to understand and to live out.  I’ve met some ladies named grace, but that is not what I am talking about.  I’ve met many people who talk about the grace of God and offering people grace, yet their lives seem to miss what grace really is.

Maybe the issue or reality of grace is one that eludes us and is hard to find.  The church talks it up, praises God for His grace and spreads the wonders of it all the time.  But do we really live by grace?  That is, do we receive and give grace freely to others that we encounter each day?  This would include people in our home, the workplace, our school and the people we meet on the street.

It is hard to be full of grace and give grace when we are full of self.  It is hard to give grace to others when we don’t have grace for ourselves or forgive ourselves for our own mistakes.

"Never forget that grace takes guts, risk and a dash of crazy." Mike Foster

Giving 2nd chances is what grace is all about.  When we extend kindness to a person who doesn’t deserve it, we are living out and sharing the grace that God shared with us.  This cannot and must not be based on some code or some rules that we follow and ask others to follow.  Grace is based on the example of what Jesus did for us.  We don’t and never will deserve His grace.

The church as well must step out to share God’s grace with the people we minister to and the people we serve with.  For too long the church has been known as a place of legalism where we kick to the side those who have messed up rather than pick people up who fail and help them get back on track.

“The church is most appealing when the message of grace is most apparent.” Andy Stanley

Those 2 quotes are right on.  It takes risk to give and receive grace.  People know when the church and the grace we offer are not authentic.  I challenge us to take a look at the grace we offer.  Are there strings attached?  Does this grace look the same as the grace Jesus offers?

Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more.    

Don’t just love people, really love them.  Leave no question if we mean what we say about grace and what we offer.  Grace living is a lifestyle chosen by people who have been overwhelmed by the grace of God.  I love to see and be part of authentic grace living.

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Psalm 42:8    NLT But each day the   Lord   pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs,   praying to Go...