Thursday, January 30, 2014

I'm a Grace Guy

I have to be gut-level honest here. I know that many pastors and people and churches can be all over the place when it comes to our focus. I have always been a grace kind of guy. I will always be a grace kind of guy. I have, at times, felt guilty about this, as if grace is somehow inferior to law, inferior to deeper thinking, somehow a 1st-grade mentality to our Christian discipleship.
But I don’t agree. I believe even the Law that God gave Moses had grace in it. How else do you explain that a man can commit a sin, which is so heinous to God that death is required, but God steps back and says, ‘You know what…kill this goat and a couple of birds and we’ll call it even.’
How is that even close to even? Fair? No, it’s grace. However you interpret salvation and end-times and works and faith, the whole system is based on grace, an undeserved gift from God.
Where am I getting this from? James chapter 4, that's where. Check it out. 
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive,because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God?Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 
So, if James 4:1-5 is the problem, verse 6 is the fix...
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:“God opposes the proud    but shows favor to the humble.”
...then verses 7-12 are the way forward.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister[d]or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it,but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
So, if God can offer grace, so can I. If you need to find some, just come on by. 

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