We are the beloved of God. Though sin still exists in our lives, we have been conferred the status of the One who gave His life for us and to us – God’s own Son. And because of the indwelling presence of God’s Spirit, we have the ability to change and progress in our Christian walk.
For me, this is an ongoing walk that engaged my mind, heart, and life in a daily, hourly way. Receiving the Grace of God by Faith in Jesus Christ is the beginning of a remarkable walk indwelling with His Spirit that I learn degree by degree, as I become more able by The Power of learning to depend on His strength, not my own; learn to dissolve the firmaments of what parts of myself long to cling to the “old”, to pride, to walk away, even to run still from Grace and the full Mercy of it as it’s Love soaks me. I am no different than all. We need to turn full face to Our Precious Lord and surrender; to unburden our hearts before Him and allow His Grace to be poured into us like a holy rain from His Altar in Heaven. It is our only salvation, our hope, and our peace. This is the resting place that can keep us in a relationship with His perfect and everlasting Love, now, here and forevermore.
Martin Luther said, “I have been preaching and cultivating the message of grace now for almost twenty years, and I still feel the old clinging dirt of wanting to deal so with God that I may contribute something, so that He will have to give me His grace in exchange for my holiness. And still I cannot get it into my head that I should surrender myself completely to sheer grace; yet I know that this is what I should and must do.”
J. I. Packer said, “the true driving force in authentic Christian living is a heart of gratitude.” The “conditional nature” of many human relationships causes us to think of God’s love as that which is subject to the vagaries and degrees of our obedience. The consequences of sin reinforces this misconception. It is wrong to think, however, that because there is a divine discipline or temporal consequence resulting from personal sin, God’s love is altered.
Our God lavishes us with His grace. Read the following verses of Psalm 103:10-14 —
God does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His love for those who fear Him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him;
for He knows how we are formed,
He remembers that we are but dust.
True grace overwhelms us with a sense of God’s love for us – thus our heart resonates with the things God desires; as such, His purposes become our purposes. Our soul delights to obey and serve Him because of our love for Him (1 Jn 4:19), and our thanksgiving for “His mercy” makes us long to honor Him. Thus, true grace produces joy and promotes godliness.
J. D Greear
In Christ, there is nothing I can do that would make You love me more and nothing I have done that makes You love me less.
When I have learned to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. Insofar as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.
Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving. It is a self-existent principle inherent in the divine nature and appears to us as a self-caused propensity to pity the wretched, spare the guilty, welcome the outcast, and bring into favor those who were before under just disapprobation. Its use to us sinful men is to save us and make us sit together in heavenly places to demonstrate to the ages the exceeding riches of God’s kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Jesus is not one of many ways to approach God, nor is He the best of several ways; He is the only way.
Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon. Therefore the effort we make to obey God is not an effort done in our own strength, but in the strength which God supplies.
What! Get to heaven on your own strength? Why, you might as well try to climb to the moon on a rope of sand!
In space, astronauts experience the misery of having no reference point, no force that draws them to the center. Where there is no “moral gravity” – that is, no force that draws us to the center – there is spiritual weightlessness. We float on feelings that will carry us where we were never meant to go; we bubble with emotional experiences that we often take for spiritual ones; and we are puffed up with pride. Instead of seriousness, there is foolishness. Instead of gravity, flippancy. Sentimentality takes the place of theology. Our reference point will never serve to keep our feet on solid rock. Our reference point, until we answer God’s call, is merely ourselves. We cannot possibly tell which end is up.
C. S. Lewis
Lose you life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death to your whole body in the end: submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.