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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Grace AND Truth - a perfect balance

Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God. This celestial Word remained ever present with the Creator; The Voice took on flesh and became human and chose to live alongside us. We have seen Him, enveloped in undeniable splendor—the one true Son of the Father—evidenced in the perfect balance of grace and truth. (John 1:1-2, 14 VOICE
Evidenced in the perfect balance of grace and truth - that describes Jesus for us, just in case you didn't really know he had two sides to his character!  You see, for grace to really make any difference, it had to be coupled with truth - until we appreciate the need for grace, we have no real need or appreciation of it. Truth is what makes the need for grace evident - it reveals what is hidden deep beneath a crust of sin!
I also really like the part of this passage that shows Jesus made a choice to take on flesh and become human - so he could live right here alongside us. Why is this so important for us to understand? I think it helps us see that it is possible to live in human form and not sin - when the one who enters into that human form is Christ himself! That means you and I, when we invite Jesus into our hearts, to be the center of our being, are finally able to live in human form and rise above the desire and pull of sin.
Too many times we want to have grace, but we shy away from truth - we don't like what truth reveals, so we don't want to hear it. We just want to know "everything will be all right" with us and leave it at that. The fact of the matter is that until we recognize just how much we need his grace - all the specific ways we need to be embraced and overshadowed by his grace - we don't appreciate the value of that grace.
No one is capable of balancing grace and truth quite like Jesus. For years, scholarly theologians, priests, and prophets tried to make something of the Law given to Moses. They sought to live it out, but couldn't quite connect grace to truth - it was hard stuff to grasp because although they knew they needed to be "right" with God, they didn't know there was a way to be made right apart from some work they did themselves. Grace is really an action totally and completely resident in Jesus - it isn't anything we do. He was the only one to accomplish the "marrying" of grace to truth.
This is why when Jesus enters into relationship with us, we are embraced by what we were missing - grace. We might have had some truth, but we needed the balance of grace in order to be fully "made right" with God. Some of us have all the truth we need - we just haven't allowed grace to fully envelop us yet. Maybe we'd do well to remember Christ's example and trust him to bring us into perfect balance. Just sayin!