Grace, The God Who Is More

 

Man stands by the edge of the water.  Landscape of a mountain stream.

Grace, she takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name

What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because Grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

Bono, U2

All of life teaches us to earn.  We earn a paycheck, a grade, or even a reward… all are based on our performance.  Performance, Performance, Performance.  When it comes down to it, our culture says, “This is what matters.” Parents, marriages, workplace, churches, and all the rest wraps itself in rewards. Society shouts performance. Evaluations by peers and evaluation of ourselves is all blanketed in performance.

And so, when we come to an understanding of grace, it is not surprising that we hiccup!

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

(1 Corinthians 15:10 ESV)

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…

(Ephesians 2:8 ESV)

Who Is God?     God is more….

  • More than a Divine Assistant

He is God – and He does more than assist in your salvation.  He is the Author of your salvation, the perfecter of your salvation, and the finisher of your salvation.

Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

From start to finish…..  God is more….  this is grace!

Who Is God?   God is more….

  • More than a Cosmic Therapist

Are you in need of a little comfort? God is more than a little comfort. He offers more than a couch and more than a few lifestyle suggestions. He is God!

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

(Psalm 46:1 ESV)

He is your advocate.  He has sent His Son to die on the cross to deal with our sins.  He rose from the grave, ascended to the Father, AND He now gives us His Spirit.  What you and I need is not a Divine Therapist!  We need more!

God is more…. this is grace!

Who Is God?   God is more…..

  • More than a Divine Philanthropist

God does not look on our poverty and throw a little…. our way. He sacrificed Himself. He gave all that He had to bring about your salvation.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

(2 Corinthians 8:9 ESV)

God is more…. this is grace!

Who Is God?    God is more…..

  • More than a Deified Uber Driver

God is not at your beckoning to drive you wherever it is you want to go. He most certainly is there for you, and He does do the driving. But, life in Christ, is finding that where He takes you is your greatest joy. His desires, not yours becomes what drives you. And where he drives…. we find…

God is more… this is grace!

Who Is God?    God is more…..

  • More than Divinely Indifferent

God is not indifferent towards you, your life, your decisions, and your pursuits. He made you and fashioned you.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.

(Psalm 139:13-18 ESV)

No, He is not divinely indifferent,

God is more… this is grace!

Who Is God?  God is more…..

  • More than your Arbitrary Servant

God does not exist to arbitrarily serve you based on your whims. Aren’t you glad? Imagine, what a mess that would be. But, that is often how we view God. God, serving sinners like me and you, is not arbitrary. It is deliberate (planned before the beginning of time.  Ephesians 1) and it is without limits. God is more than a little service here and there…He served us all the way to the cross….

God is more….this is grace!

  • More than a Passive Bystander

God did not create the world and then stand back in indifference as some might think. He is Sovereign. I believe that not a blade of grass grows on the face of the earth without His Sovereign hand. He is intimately involved in our lives. He is no passive bystander.

God is more…. this is grace!

We could go on…. Why don’t you take a moment and consider who God is.

But, what about us? What about our contribution and what we offer? Where does our performance come into the picture?

Simple answer?

It doesn’t! Oh how we want to add something to our salvation. We desperately want to think we bring something to the party. But, the moment we do…. it is no longer grace.

And besides….

If our performance did contribute to our salvation, do you really think that your performance is all that? Perhaps it is best that we stop trying to earn grace (as if we could) and instead respond to grace.

(Hmmmm, “Respond to Grace”, perhaps that will be a future post.)

 

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