My friend, Mary, added this pic and I thought ,”That is EXACTLY how I feel living under a GOD OF GRACE WHO LOVES ME NO MATTER WHAT! I want to live like this! Arms lifted high-RECEIVING. Lately, I find myself in awe of the overwhelming vastness of GOD’S GRACE. Is grace really free or do I need to do some things because I am in a “divine pay-off” relationship with God? Am I living in GRACE or LEGALISM? GRACE IS UNMERITED FAVOR-no question-but I think the depth of this would shock us. We often think of the word “SIN” as an action or thought when it can also be a state. Why does it seem as we live in 2 worlds? The busy, daily grind when we don’t think about God at all on Tuesday, yet we can experience the spiritual HIGH of a Sunday morning.
I CORINTHIANS 3 TEACHES US THERE ARE 3 TYPES OF PEOPLE.
- “NATURAL MAN” (one not knowing Christ as Savior)
- “CARNAL MAN “(person having come to know Christ, but not obeying Him as Lord)
- “SPIRITUAL MAN”( person having trusted Christ as Savior & obeying Him.) With Romans 7 as our guide, we are stuck! When you can, read ROMANS 6-8 in one sitting. If you want, write down what you see. GOD’S incomprehensible GRACE breaks that ridiculous chain that we all wear- STRIVING FOR GOD TO LIKE US!
When I look through these chapters, I think, why do I do what I do? If I am a legalist, it’s because a vine of deceit has woven itself around me that says “work for God”or sadly, impress others with my devotedness. If I live in GRACE-REAL FREE GRACE-I walk with God BECAUSE I’M RESPONDING to Him in BROKENNESS. I know, I mean really, I can’t do it. I can’t obey without God’s Spirit, I can’t desire time in His Word without His gentle hand, & I want to be self-centered at least 30 times a day. YET, HE WAITS….KINDLY, WITH OPEN & GENTLE HANDS & ALWAYS A BETTER WAY! CHECK YOURSELF WITH THESE QUESTIONS. THEY HELP ME!
- WHY am I doing this activity (bible study, speaking, or serving in the church kitchen)?
- Do I believe God would STILL love me if I didn’t do these activities? Do I RECEIVE His kindness ?
- Do I “feel good” about myself when I do “religious things”?
- Do I reckon myself dead and crucified with Christ and that nothing good dwells in my flesh? I love it that LIFE STARTED AT A SYMBOL OF DEATH- A TOMB! ANY GOOD IN ME IS HIS GOOD.
- I have to ask God to break me any spiritual pride, really, to help me see the true state of our humanity. When I do, I am be surprised (maybe discouraged, sometimes?). Then,& only then, do we awaken to see OUR COMPLETE NEED AND HIS MAJESTY…and THAT IS GOOD.
May our lives be open to Him in True Humility,