In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

God's Grace

Lately I've been thinking a lot on the grace of God.

Routinely I'm reminded of my need for God's grace.

I think about all the voices in my life. Some voices bring condemnation. The voice of others as well as my own.

This past Sunday the voice in my mind was one of condemnation. The Holy Spirit convicted me of how I was being judgmental and God reminded me of Galatians 6:1-5 (See November 4 posting "It's easy to focus on fixing others when I need to fix me").

I read a post where the writer was condemning some preacher who'd been seeing prostitutes. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to recognize that this is sick behavior on the part of that pastor and made more horrific by the fact that he's supposed to be a spiritual leader. But what really hit me was that the author of the post actually made a statement to the effect that while he sometimes may make small errors he never makes moral mistakes - he doesn't do big things that he thinks are wrong because he has self control. I basically told him that I sure can't say that about me. I've done things that I believe are wrong. When it comes down to it I believe that we all have.

I read another post that was condemning Christians and saying that they are dumb, pushy and deceived. While pushy is not a term one would use to describe me; I can remember times I've behaved stupidly and I can remember times I have been deceived. I just keep thinking how much I need God's grace and how grateful I am that He gives it.

Today I've been thinking about that famous account of Jesus in John chapter 8. It's the one where the religious leaders brought a women they'd caught in adultery to the temple so they could humiliate her in front of her friends, acquaintances and Jesus. The typical punishment for her behavior would have been to have her stoned. I've always loved Jesus' response. He suggested that those who were without sin could cast the first stone. Scripture tells us that Jesus actually was without sin, but he didn't stone her. No one else stepped forward to cast a stone either. Jesus pointed out that no one condemned her and neither did He. He encouraged her to go her way and not continue to sin.

I'm so grateful that while God convicts us of our wrong doing he does not condemn us.

Bob Sorge, in his book Secrets of the Secret Place, explains the difference between conviction and condemnation this way:

"The purpose of the voice of condemnation is to push you away from His presence - that which is the very source of your victory. The purpose of the voice of conviction is to press you into the face of Christ."

I'm so grateful that God by His grace convicts me of my wrong doing but does not condemn me.

What attribute of God have you been thinking on lately?


rouel said...

Great site Tracy and thanks for visiting my site too. I think God as ever forgiving and merciful. We should realize our sins and humble ourselves to Him.

The BearPair said...

I'm new to this site, but really appreciate your comments & insights, especially on this subject of God's grace.
2 songs which speak powerfully to us are:
"Only By Grace" by Gerrit Gustafson, &
"Your Grace Stil Amazes Me" by Phillips, Craig & Dean.
Would like to know a bit more about the person behind this site.

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