Saturday, October 16, 2010

Simple Isn’t Easy: It’s About Grace

Grace: By grace I have been saved, through faith. I see you Jesus. My Jesus. My saviour. My Father. My best friend. Grace…faith…love. That’s what it is all about. That is why I believe. Why is it that the simplest concept to grasp is what is often seen as the hardest thing to understand? Why?

The fact is: the only thing keeping us from God and keeping us living forever with God, is sin. This is generally what religion is all about: Sin and eternity. Everyone seems to have a different picture, these days, of what eternity looks like to them. For the most part it’s all the same, do good deeds and be the best person you can be. Don’t be bad. Typically people see it as…you must be a good person all your life. We must not mess up. If you can do this, after death, you will be okay. Either you get to become a god, you might get your own planet, or you will come back to life as something better. But ONLY If you aren’t doomed because of some dumb thing you did.  Well if this was the case then we are all doomed. We have all sinned. The Bible says so in Romans 3 “For we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.”  And that is why we need the grace of God. With his grace we don’t have to feel doomed, but we get the opportunity to receive a second chance.

So, we have established that we can not work for our salvation. That we have all sinned. Sin is what separates us from God. It’s the truth: WE are not perfect. Doing good things will not make us perfect. I would hate to have to live up to that model of perfection. That is a HUGE burden to place on someone. Good works just can’t get you in to Heaven. So why do people insist that it can work?

People want to be great. They want to make a difference. That’s why doing good things can seem so appealing. Cause most times, it will get you noticed in a positive way: FAME! GLORY! That is what people want. People want to be noticed. It really makes sense why one would think that being a good person will get you a good eternity. It makes sense why people would want to follow that road so willingly. Cause the other road sounds like such a difficult and impossible task, one that should have a long and difficult journey to accomplish. People look at that “Long and difficult road” in the wrong way. Truth is it is a better road to follow, one that will get you further. The problem? This second road is the road called servant hood. The “doing the little things” road. The one road most people what to shy away from. Let's face it, other road is the road of quick and easy, and glory and fame. But I’m sorry, that isn’t always right.

The road of a servant. The road full of hard and dirty work. People avoid it at all costs, because of its distance. Because when they look down in to the distance all they see is work, and dirt. It’s because they aren’t able to look far enough. What they don’t realize is where the road ends up. In a far more beautiful and wonderful place. A place of glory. Of love and belonging. The one problem is, people don’t want to wait. They want it NOW. But this second road is a road of true love and true belonging. Because it’s not only the road of a servant, it’s also the road of grace. Something that attracts that servant. On that road you will never find yourself alone, unlike the other road. The other road, you will have people come and go in your life. It is never guaranteed you will always have companionship on that first road. On this road all you can ever know is love. On this road you will ALWAYS have friend.

This is one thing people find so hard to practice, and to walk through: because it makes them look bad. It makes them look weak. But you know what? WE ARE WEAK! We can work our buts off all our life, but if we don’t have complete surrender, if we don’t accept his grace, we have nothing. On our own, we are weak, but we are strong in Christ. Christ in me, Hope of Glory.

God likes the simple. God likes to begin small.God needs servants not leaders. He is the leader and he asks us to follow him. He starts off small. He builds big things our of nothing. He works the impossible out of something as small as a mustard seed. And he lives in Me. That is why I can believe that he will use me. Because he can do anything our of nothing.

Christ in me! Surrender is a difficult task to grasp. Total surrender is about the hardest thing for us to do. We are such control freaks. But we must see ourselves as nothing because God wants to make us something. God asks us to surrender ourselves to him. He gave us a choice to choose whether we want to, but than he promised us that if we do, he will work and shape us to be who he wants us to be. He will use us for great things. Here again we find ourselves with a problem. A time problem. This is a process. We seem to hate the word process these days. God’s timing is the best timing. Problem is we like our timing,. Problem is we have lost all patience for anything worthwhile case we want the good things NOW. These days we have no time for patience amongst our busy schedules. But this is how God works. He takes his time. We don’t know his time. We just need to wait on him for as long or as short as he deems necessary.

This may sound all simple and easy, easier than sweating over if you have done enough through out your life to go to Heaven. Then this may definitely sound too good to be true. This is true, but it is not easy. Becoming a servant and submitting ourselves to that standard is never easy, but it is good because it is what God wants of us. It is what he asks us to do.

This eternity, this love is a gift. A gift of grace. We don’t deserve any of this. Jesus didn’t have to die. He died because of his unconditional love for us. Because if He didn’t die we would all be dead. A gift of grace from God to us. The gift of a second chance. Jesus is the only way to eternity. It says so in the book of John. “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the father except through me.” Jesus is the way. It’s not the easiest way, but I really believe it is worth it. Servant not leader, Grace not works, faith not sight. Total surrender, total humility, total love. God is a God of grace. All he wants of you is your surrender, your willingness, and your love. He wants you to come as you are. To come with the innocence of a little child. He just wants you to ask, and to accept openly as a child does. This gift is yours to take. Open it up and receive it. It’s the most important thing you could ever do. This is your gift, remember it’s rude to decline a gift so freely given. So take the chance, walk down that road…and don’t look back. You WILL be guaranteed a change of life, forever.

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