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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Grace or Justice - You Decide

Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying, "Whenever you do a thing, act as though the whole world were watching." Wise words, indeed. There is nothing more powerful than considering our actions we might take in the secret places of our lives, or when we don't think anyone will notice, in light of what others would see if they were to observe those actions "out in the open". Sometimes we might even stop in our tracks before we took those intended actions simply because we wouldn't want others to ever see us doing them. When you have ever been in a place with closed circuit cameras all around, were you as inclined to adjust your underwear as you might have been when you were in the "safe place" of your own bathroom? Probably not! Why? You didn't know who was watching! Maybe we'd do well to remember that principle when we take many other actions in our lives - we never really know who is watching and really, no action ever goes unnoticed by God!

Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. (Galatians 6:7-8 NLT)


Jefferson also voiced, "I tremble for my when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever." We don't really know when God will put things in motion that allow things done in secret for so long to become "discovered". It could be the way another country has been unjustly persecuting those they don't see as supporters of their particular "political agenda" and then we see God reveal that injustice along with a loud and clear "call to action" by others who cannot possibly support that injustice any longer. If we stop to think about that for a moment, this is how allied relationships work - we stand up for injustice as a unified group. It could also be that God brings to light some particular injustice within our own ranks - allowing the misguided intentions of some and the evil intentions of others to be brought into the light. Whenever this has happened, "justice" usually demands their removal from that position of power or office. Why? Justice is a foundation of our way of life.

You have often heard me say the way we live matters - the choices we make define us. We cannot forever make unwise choices and expect to continue to experience God's grace in our lives - either as individuals, or as a nation. We can make course adjustments - even slight ones - that get us closer to living as we know we should. When we do, we might experience a little more of God's grace than we deserve, but if we don't continue to make those course corrections, we will eventually find God's justice coming our way. Why? The half-hearted corrections we made didn't carry us fully to where we needed to be and God's chief desire is for us to live a principled and just life - individually and as a nation. He will encourage those course corrections, either through renewed grace or through swift justice. I prefer grace! How about you? Just askin!