Thursday, July 22, 2010

Who needs more Grace

I having been writing about our need to live life in the shadow of the cross. How it is so easy to drift so far from the cross that we can't even see that it is our ongoing sin that causes us to still need the forgiveness that He purchased on the cross. It is the same pridefulness that causes us to know that we were saved by grace, but think we can become like Christ by working real hard at it (be sanctified by our works). Totally failing to recognize that it will be the gracious work of God that will change our lives more and more into the image of Christ. We grow as Christians to think we are no longer in need of the grace of God in our lives.

While chewing on all of this that has been covered in my previous blogs, I am left pondering the question. Who should profess a greater ongoing need for the grace of God in their life? The person who is just trusting in Christ for the first time or the person who understood their need at salvation, but has now tried to work out their becoming more like Christ with greater confidence in their own abilities and works. What I am getting at is the question of who should profess greater need to receive from God the very thing they could never deserve. Is it the person who walked far away from the cross who has seen it up close previously, or the person who has never seen it up close. Who is in a greater need of grace?

(Lk 12:47-48) 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

Look at it from the perspective of Jesus treatment of different people. Was he not harshest on the pharisees because they had already received so much grace and then turned away from it. You might be thinking that they didn't receive grace they received the law. Was it not by grace that God chose the Israelites to be the people that He revealed himself to and through. Their receiving the revelation of God was the greatest demonstration of grace prior to Christ's death on the cross. So who needed more grace the pharisee who had already been entrusted with much grace but did not act according to His will or the gentile who did not know?

I know it is like discussing which is greater infinity or infinity plus one. The grace meter is maxed out for both. But I am trying to come through a window that is even hard for our prideful hearts to close. Closed to the point we are not humbled by the grace that we Christians have already been shown. That window is that those who have been shown much grace, immeasurable grace in fact, fail to show grace towards others while still needing grace in their own lives.

We see this demonstrated all throughout scripture and life. The story in Matthew 18 of the person who owed the king ten thousand talents (An unpayable debt). He was shown mercy and grace, but then fails to show mercy and grace to the person who owes him 100 shillings. His need for being shown mercy and grace is now even greater than before because he didn't appreciate what was done for him to the point it gripped his life. Are we not like this person when we have been saved by grace and then act as though we no longer need grace? When we struggle to show grace to others. When we puff ourselves up with pride convincing ourselves that God must be impressed with our works. When we struggle to share the gospel of God's grace with others and our lives are not gripped by the mercy and grace we have been shown. When we fail to live in such a way that points back to His mercy and grace that He showed us. Are we not in need of greater grace.

  • Romans 5:20-21 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

As believers entrusted with the gospel of God's grace through Jesus Christ and having moved away from this point, are we not the ones in need of the greatest amount of grace! I am convicted by the fact that I was entrusted with the gospel by an incredible act of mercy and grace. Yet often my response to this is to struggle to share the gospel with others. That God would be so moved to choose me as his instrument of grace and continue to work on my prideful heart that is so prone to wandering away and not sharing mercy and grace with others.

The answer to my question that I am left with is me. For I know the father's will and often do not act according to His will. I have seen the cross and then walk further away from it. I have received the gospel and act as though I have not often. Ouch!!!

Lord, I pray that I would in your mercy and grace be brought back to the foot of the cross today. That I would be forced to face the shear magnitude of mercy that was shown to me by Christ taking on the full punishment of my sin. That I would be gripped by the grace of God that Christ, the son of God, left heaven to die in my place, that He might live through my life through the power of the Holy Spirit I have so graciously received. Lead and direct my steps today that I might be a doer of your incredible will. Have mercy on me, that I might be a good steward of your mercy. Please show me more of your grace that has already been entrusted to me, that I might show it to others according to your will.

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