Friday, March 22, 2013

Two Sides of the Same Graceless Coin

Those who fear too much grace guarantees sinful behavior, thus it must be balanced with something, & those who use the word or an idea of grace to live self-centered & destructive lives both have two things in common.. Neither are walking by the Spirit & both have a very limited understanding of what grace is. The first group isn't walking by the Spirit when they fear & misunderstand grace & the second group isn't walking by the Spirit when they are harming themselves & others.

Twice in scripture the Holy Spirit is called the "Spirit of grace." If you walk by the Spirit you are walking under grace. Grace is God's love for you. What does love do? Does it make you sit back & think, "Oh that's nice. I'm glad I'm loved by God," or does love make you think, "I want to engage & know the God who loves me." You want to relate to people you love & people that love you. Real grace (not a false idea of grace or freedom mislabeled as grace) makes you want to relate to God. Knowing God loves you makes you want to relate to God.

If you know true grace you will never fear it & you will never believe that God's super-abundant grace needs to be balanced with anything, you'll never speak a word against it. If you know true grace you will want to engage God. You won't let the concepts of sin or obedience make you feel like you cannot engage Him. You will never think or act as if "God doesn't care if I harm myself or others." You won't see God as someone who simply opened your cage to set you free. You will see God as a loving Father who guides you & protects you as well as His other children.

Grace gives you the freedom to relate to God with no strings ever attached. If you attach strings or if you disregard the opportunity of relating to God in favor of living free to the point of harm, you aren't enjoying God's grace. The first group lives under law & walks by the flesh. The second group lives free from the law but still walks by the flesh. The purpose of love is to have a relationship. Don't limit the relationship by putting conditions on God's love or fearing His anger. His love is limitless & He promises no anger towards His children. Neither say, "So long pops I'm free" & walk away from the relationship.

Both are what happened in the story of the prodigal son. The son that left walked away from His Father & the son that stayed refused to believe in the extent of his father's love for him. The son that embraced his father's freedom & riches, even though he lived destructively, came to know his father's love first. The son that stuck around the father that, even though he was rich, worked like a slave for him... well the story never even says he came to know his father's love. The free man living like a fool will come to God's love much faster than the man who slaves away for God & believes in doctrines that limit & put conditions on God's love. Don't be either son. Know that limiting grace is limiting God's love for you, it is limiting & putting conditions on your relationship with God. Know that your Father loves you & embrace Him!

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