Monday, 17 June 2013

Scandalous Grace

There is no one else who can rescue us, 
and there is no other name under heaven given to any human 
by whom we may be rescued. - Acts 4:12

Grace is scandalous. The sooner we admit that, the sooner we can move forward. But it's something we dont want to accept. We're stuck in this 'punishment for our sins' mentality, so when Jesus pardons us and lavishes us with grace, we cant accept it. We keep working, keep trying to earn forgiveness, keep trying to earn God's Favor. We keep striving to get our lives back on track, to become who we used to be or who we want to be.

So we sin and we repent, God says I forgive you, and I love you - and that should be the end of the story. But it isn't. We're convinced that if He isn't going to punish us, then we must punish ourselves. We're convinced that if He wont withhold His forgiveness, then we will withhold our forgiveness from ourselves.

But what if we allowed ourselves to just accept it? What if we genuinely repented of our sins and that was enough? What if we realized that is the whole point of grace - that's the very definition of grace: that we cant earn it. Grace is the favor of God undeserved.
No, we dont deserve it. That's the blatant truth - we cannot deserve it. We cannot work hard enough or change enough or say enough I'm sorry's.
But He gives it anyway - because that's who He is. He is the epitome of Grace. He cant help but lavish it upon us.

And that's the thing about Grace - that's what makes it so scandalous. That when we're the least deserving, the most broken, and so full of ourselves and our sin, He blesses us. He not only forgives and loves us, but He blesses us. He gives us gifts. He restores our heart. He redeems the time for us, and works all things together for good.

Since we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners
and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives
God wills for us, God did it for us.
Out of sheer generosity, God put us in right standing with Himself.
A pure gift.
He got us out of the mess we're in and restored us to where He always wanted us to be.
And He did it by means of Jesus Christ. - Romans 3:23-24

Stop striving friend. Give honor where honor is due. Yes, take steps to improve your life. Cut ungodly soul ties and choose to say no to the wrong things. But remember it's all because of Him, in Him, through Him. You don't save yourself. God in His Mercy will always lavish His scandalous Grace upon you.

p.s. check out Matt Chandlers sermon on this topic. (click the link)

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