Sunday, November 11, 2018

Grace-full

Let me pose a question to each of us this morning. If we truly have invited Christ to be at the center of our lives, forsaking all other gods and 'religious pursuits', how has he change us? What has he really done in our lives since that moment we said "yes" to him? If we have really put him at the center of our lives, there should be a vast number of things we could recount, ranging from righting our priorities to removing the stubborn stain of sin in our lives. Grace has a way of changing whatever it touches - no one is left the same as they were before grace invades those long hidden and covered over areas of our their lives!

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. 
(1 Peter 2:9 MSG)

I know we often think we did the choosing when it comes to us saying we 'invited Jesus' into our lives, but the truth is quite the opposite. It was he that did the choosing! We might have responded to the invitation, but let me just assure you - we weren't looking, nor were we even interested in seeking him out - it is his doing that we even felt the first twinge of 'interest' in grace! Indeed, we each have to answer the question as to whether we will allow Christ to deal with the sin in our lives, but the question isn't even posed to us without the answer being immediately available when we finally realize we do want grace to infill us.

The infilling of grace means we are never the same again - we are made new. I like new things, but I am drawn to the well-made things of past days when they were made with much more attention to them being lasting and capable of enduring much use. Back in the day, an appliance would last for a long, long time. Now things to be good for one year! Wouldn't it be a terrible thing if our salvation came with nothing more than a one year guarantee? Say 'yes' to Jesus and the 'guarantee' is eternal - there is no expiration date on grace!

The move of grace within means we are never the same again - what was marred by sin, stained beyond ever 'getting clean' again, now is made new. The fact remains - we are changed by grace. Grace has an enduring quality - it is not going to offer us 'shoddy work'. The work of grace is never finished - but whatever it touches is made more beautiful. There is a night-and-day difference when grace begins to work upon our hearts. Our minds are changed. Our actions are moved from what brought only harm and hurt toward those that produce goodness within us. 

The next time you don't think anything good has come of inviting Christ into your lives, you might just want to reconsider. Grace cannot, nor will it leave us unchanged. We may not 'act' perfect yet, but perfection is a guaranteed thing through grace. Grace is a growth thing - the more of it that takes hold of us, the more growth we begin to realize in our lives. Grace to overlook an offense. Grace to not respond when we know we could make a better point because it is wiser to be silent than to fuel the fire. Grace to not respond to an urge to pursue what should be left alone. Grace isn't finished with us. It is always a 'new beginning' kind of day in Christ - don't ever be discouraged you 'aren't there yet', my friend! You are grace-full and in time you will realize just how much of a night-and-day difference grace has made! Just sayin!