Sometimes the messages God gives us aren't always pleasing to the ear. Why should they be? God's messages, throughout scripture, aren't always sweet either. Yes, God loves us, and yes he is sad when he sees what sin does to us. He freely offered His Son to give us grace, but when you smack back the gracious and generous hand of God, there comes a penalty. Some people imagine God as a deity of curses if you don't live 'holy'. Some see Him as only love. He is both a loving Father and He corrects us because he loves us. He clearly says that if we choose to live by the Law then we are cursed by the Law. He also says that when we choose Jesus, by faith, he offers us grace. But many tell us 'don't abuse the grace you are given'. It's a balance. Imagine walking on a tightrope over a black hole, what are you balancing with? Is the pole you hold going to keep you balanced? Is it possible you'll fall? Then what?
photo by klsmith77
Is your pole abstinence of sin?Is your pole putting on good works?Is there a net under you in case you fall?
We most surely will fall. This is life. We fall, we trip, we stumble. God knows we will, but he offers us his grace. He is a God that loves. He puts his foot down, but holds his hand out still. Beckoning us to come back into the walk of faith. He is not willing that any should perish.
Some say that my messages of grace are confusing. They don't understand. Some say that speaking of grace means I'm abusing grace. Some say that speaking of the Law means legalism. We need balance. Jesus told us how to balance. He is our balance. He is also our net of grace when we fall. You see, if we only live by the Law, we bring about the works of the flesh. If we live by grace, then we walk in the Spirit. And those who walk in the Spirit will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
As we walk in the Spirit we won't have to worry about which Laws we fail to live by. If our concern is which Laws we obey or fail to obey then we live by curses. There is the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. He does not tell us to live by both. We must choose. If we choose the Old Covenant then we must live by it 100%. If we live by it 100% then what need would we have for Jesus? The Old Covenant was a foreshadow, an engagement if you will, until the New Covenant was made. Jesus is the diamond ring that is given to us when we choose His righteousness for our own. The key is HIS righteousness. We have no righteousness of our own.
Yes, when we live by faith we have good works. Those good works come naturally, because of His love that reigns in us. Faith without works is dead. But we can't do works without faith. We can't do works to prove our faith. We either do good works because of His love in us or we do them for our own selves.We can't work our way into right standing with God. I don't listen to people telling me that "..to be right with God I need to do such and such or abstain from this or that." I refuse to listen to that because it's a lie. I am only right because of Christ. I'm not saying that we should not be kind to widows or the fatherless. I'm not saying that we should not visit the sick or imprisoned. We should do all those things, if and when it comes from our hearts to do them. But we need to be sure it's because of His Love that reigns. If we do it on our own, we just lift up more dirty rags to our Savior. It is done in vain.
We can do all the good works we want, but where is our focus?
Do we think that our good works makes us better than those who don't do them?
This would make us judgmental.
Do we have to submit a check off list to prove that we did good works?
If we do, then our focus is on what man thinks.
Do we feel the need to prove our righteousness to others by telling how many hours a week we do them?
If we do, then we boast of our own righteousness.
Is our prayer life nothing but a scheduled to do list of 30 minutes in our day planner?
If this is so then we limit our intimacy with Jesus to a block of time rather than a lifestyle of love.
Do we feel guilty if we cut it short by 10 minutes because we're late for an appointment?
If we do then we live in condemnation. There is now therefore NO condemnation to those who are in Christ.
Do we owe anyone a detailed explanation of how many minutes a day we spend with Jesus?
If we do then it only matters in our mind what others think of our walk with Jesus, than what HE thinks of our walk with Him.
- Where is our focus?
- Is our Christian life just a balancing 'act'?
- Or are we free to fly?