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Not just grace, but RADICAL grace

How many of us long for true peace and just don't find it in anything we have experimented with in life? I think we all go through places in life that we hope will bring us some much needed peace - that deep rest for our souls and spirits. When we really stop to look at what gives us true peace, we might be surprised to realize it isn't the 'place', but who is in that place with us. It isn't the events, but the one who walks with us through the events. It isn't even the 'strong faith' we exhibit in the midst of the moment, but the fact that we are given the very faith by which we stand strong in the midst of the battle. When it is our self-made, let's see how much we can 'muster up' kind of peace, it will fade quickly. The moment might feel good, but the long-term effect of that 'mustered up' kind of peace won't last the long haul. It is only the peace that comes through experiencing Christ and all he brings into our lives that will last through thick and thin!

Since we have been acquitted and made right through faith, we are able to experience true and lasting peace with God through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King. Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory. And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love. (Romans 5:1-5)

Acquitted and made right indicates we have not always had a 'good standing' with God. We needed a Savior - regardless of how 'good' we labeled out actions, they still fell short of God's goodness! We often hear people tell us they don't need a Savior because they aren't doing 'bad things' in life - they might adhere to the "I don't chew, or run with those who do" kind of philosophy as 'proof' that they aren't in need of a Savior. Truth be told, none of us can ever 'do' enough good in our lives to make up for the fact that all inherited a sin nature. We all have sin at the core of our being - even if we don't act upon those desires all of the time, we still need Christ's provision of grace to remove that stain of sin that is there! 

The most amazing part of this passage that I find myself going back to time after time is that Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing the very glory of God in our own lives. If we are led into a place of radical grace that suggests we weren't in that place at all before we asked Jesus to be in control of our lives. We cannot be 'led into' if we were already there! It is not just a 'ho-hum' kind of place, either. It is a place of RADICAL GRACE. Radical comes from the word 'root' - so radical grace is 'rooted grace' - there is a firm foundation to that grace that is vital, growing, and constantly being renewed. Most of us would think of radical as something standing out as extremely different from something else. That is exactly what God's grace is - it stands out in our lives and in turn, our lives stand out because of radical grace! Just sayin!

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