Thursday, August 28, 2008

His Grace Is Enough

Have you ever tried to talk to your teenager while he was listening to his ipod? Sometimes I am just talking away, wondering why he isn't responding, and then I realize he can't even hear what I am saying. His mind is on what he is listening to, instead of me. It's a distraction. I believe that there are some things that have been taught that have become distractions in Christian's lives - things they are listening to have taken their minds off of what God's grace means in their lives, and they have turned their focus on doing works to earn God's approval and protection. If you are constantly thinking about "one more thing" that you have to do, I want to tell you today that God's grace is enough!

Think back to when you first got saved. You had so much greatfulness in your heart for what Jesus did for you and you couldn't wait to find out more about Him. I think most of us can say that one of the first scriptures we ever memorized was Ephesians 2:8-9. It says, "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast." I remember when I first read this verse years ago, I took a big sigh of relief because I was so glad that my salvation had nothing to do with me, except that I just receive it. Why have we allowed someone to tell us that we have to bring works back into the picture? When we put our trust in our own works, it won't get us anywhere. We must put our trust in the work that Jesus did. Galatians 3:3 says, "After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?" His grace is enough!

Think about it like this - Jesus told us to become like a little child (Matt 18:4). Has your child ever paid his way to Six Flags or Disney World? Does your child pay for their own food when you go out to eat? No! They don't pay their own way. Just as our children look to us and trust us, so are we to do with our Heavenly Father. Jesus already paid our way! His grace is enough!

I tried to figure grace out for years and I never really understood what it was all about, but as I have been thinking about these things and studying about God's love, I have finally gotten a clear picture. God loved us so much, He sent Jesus to pay the price to take us out from under the law and place us under grace. The law was a set of rules that held people in bondage. If one rule was broken, the curse would come upon them. When Jesus died on the cross, He freed us from the law and the effects of the curse. God gave us this freedom, not to allow for wrongdoing, but because He wanted us to know that He loves us and accepts us for who we are. He thinks we are awesome!

Some churches teach that you have to live up to a certain standard in order to obtain something from God. That makes people have a "law mentality." This mentality says that you have to go to church, pay your tithes, read your Bible, and confess all the right things in order to receive from God and stay away from the curse. Those things are good, but they don't make us more righteous. This wrong message forces people to get so busy trying to keep themselves in right standing with God, that they get their eyes on what they can do instead of what God's grace has already done. It's a distraction. Galatians 3:11,13 says, "So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When He hung on the cross, He took upon Himself the curse." When people constantly tell you that there are things you have to do to earn freedom from the curse, they are saying that His grace is not enough. But it is! The work Jesus did on the cross was enough! He has got you covered!

We can't allow ourselves to be distracted any more. We have to stay focused on God's grace and share this great message with the world. God has already given us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). There is NOTHING we can do to earn this. God is not a task master. He is not waiting to drop the curse down on you if you miss something you were supposed to do. No! He sits on His throne of grace and bids you to come to (Heb. 4:10). God's grace is enough! Don't let anyone tell you different!


Jimmy Weldon said...

I will recommend another good bood for you entitled "Holiness by Grace: Delighting in the Joy that is our strength" by Dr. Bryan Chapell. Dr. Chapell is the president of Covenant Theological Seminary and I have heard him speak a couple of times at OMPC.

I think you will really enjoy this book.


Anonymous said...

Another good book about grace is "Destined to Reign" by Joseph Prince.

Anonymous said...

This is just what I needed to hear today. Thanks!

S. said...

I appreciate your anaolgies to your children. I relate to God's love that way as it makes the reality of His love so simple. I don't disown my children when they don't do everything they should. His love and grace are truly enough! Thankfully He looks at us through the eyes of a loving Father.
Thanks for the song, too. Have a blessed day.