Updated: Jan 17
If there is one thing we should never mess with it is God's grace. But we do.....
In salvation - Romans 3:24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. In the Roman Road, or the plan of salvation we many times present to those who don't know Jesus we get the Romans 3:23 where it says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and then we stop. Verse 24 is the resulting verse and it is vital to realize the condition God's grace puts us in. We are saved from the result of that sin condition that causes all to be sinners in the sight of God. Our human reasoning might read verse 24 and go "Yeah But!" Well, there is no YEAH BUT! Not in the total completeness of God's grace.
In Living life - James 4: 6 And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” We are going to fail. ALL OF US!
The old nature or sin nature is always trying to defeat us, but as we grow in God's grace He begins to show us through His love just how great His grace really is. To think we have this whole life thing figured out and we just don't sin that much is a mark of a prideful, narcissistic person. That person has a pride problem, which is a sure sign of a narcissistic personality problem. What is the number one thing that drives personal posting? Narcissism or pride. Proud of ourselves. Proud of our life situation. Just proud!! James says that God "opposes" that person, so don't be that person. Realize in your heart that there is only one God and we are not him. 2 Corinthians 12:9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me.
In Serving God - This grace realization changes everything for the sinner and it compels us to love God more, and follow God more faithfully. Not with the attitude that we are "all that", but in accordance with the grace God has given us. Paul said it this way in 1 Corinthians 15:10 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. The reason this verse is important is it keeps us from feeding the "pride monster" and the narcissistic personality flaw has to bow to the realization that we are not perfect, but we serve a perfect God. A Godly perspective on life. That realization keeps us from being judgmental and prideful, and God's love is totally realized. Then our service is not like a clanging cymbal without any love but totally immersed in a wonderful love for our God of grace.
In relating to other strugglers - The judgment of God that should fall on each of us because we are all sinners has been done away with and smashed. So should the judgment we have for other sinners. A sign of spiritual maturity is how well we forgive other sinners when they mess up. And we will all mess up. Even the narcissist. This is where we will get another...Yeah But!! Oh yeah, this doesn't seem fair to the person who has a pride problem, but the truth is "it is totally fair" for ALL sinners. Not just for some! The manipulation of the narcissist won't work here....at all. We cannot manipulate God or His perfect truth. God is perfection, so His grace is perfect in every form. Even the forms we cannot get through human reasoning. You can't learn this from a knowledge-based education. You must experience it. No more Yeah Buts! Just accept it and get on with our imperfect lives.
You may think "oh I can reason this away with my superior knowledge and reasoning." Yeah But means that our impressions of God's grace just aren't good enough. Jesus said in Matthew 19:24 I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” 25 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked. 26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” If those closest to Jesus couldn't grasp how this great forgiveness works, there is a chance we might miss it too. But when you pursue God's truth in His Word with a truly open heart, without reservations, the Yeah But fades into the sunset of our prideful hearts, and a new day of God's grace is realized. Read the story below and see how the Yeah But can fade when we have the right perspective.
Longing to leave her poor Brazilian neighborhood, Christina wanted to see the world. Discontent with a home having only a pallet on the floor, a washbasin, and a wood-burning stove, she dreamed of a better life in the city. One morning she slipped away, breaking her mother's heart. Knowing what life on the streets would be like for her young, attractive daughter, Maria hurriedly packed to go find her. On her way to the bus stop, she entered a drugstore to get one last thing. Pictures. She sat in the photograph booth, closed the curtain, and spent all she could on pictures of herself. With her purse full of small black-and-white photos, she boarded the next bus to Rio de Janeiro. Maria knew Christina had no way of earning money. She also knew that her daughter was too stubborn to give up. When pride meets hunger, a human will do things that were before unthinkable. Knowing this, Maria began her search. Bars, hotels, nightclubs, any place with a reputation for street walkers or prostitutes. She went to them all. And at each place she left her picture--taped on a bathroom mirror, tacked to a hotel bulletin board, fastened to a corner phone booth. And on the back of each photo, she wrote a note. It wasn't too long before both the money and the pictures ran out, and Maria had to go home. The weary mother wept as the bus began its long journey back to her small village.
It was a few weeks later that young Christina descended the hotel stairs. Her young face was tired. Her brown eyes no longer danced with youth but spoke of pain and fear. Her laughter was broken. Her dream had become a nightmare. Thousand times over she had longed to trade these countless beds for her secure pallet. Yet the little village was, in too many ways, too far away. As she reached the bottom of the stairs, her eyes noticed a familiar face. She looked again, and there in the lobby mirror was a small picture of her mother. Christina's eyes burned and her throat tightened as she walked across the room and removed the small photo. Written on the back was this compelling invitation. "Whatever you have done, whatever you have become, it doesn't matter. Please come home." She did.
Yeah, But God died for all so that they could also come home. Now is the time. Don't wait. God's grace is real and still here for you.
The Pilgrimage Continues.....