Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What does grace really look like?

Forgiveness at the cross.

Grace realized for the first time.

Given as a gift by God. Accepted by faith.

Based not on the merit of the received, but the steadfast character of the giver.

Understood completely, by few.

I grew up in a small mid western farm town surrounded by corn and beans.  The farmers I know cultivated land and raised angus beef.  Sheep farming: I know nothing.  However, Google, my sometimes dearest friend, gave me some insight into the personality of sheep.

My small, not nearly exhaustive list:

1. Timid, fearful, easily panicked 
2.  Jealous, competitive
3.  Easily influenced
4.  Stubborn
5.  Creatures of habit (get in a rut)
6.  Need to be on the move with a pre-determined path for grazing

The Good Shepherd sure puts up with a lot doesn't he?

I definitely see characteristics of Peter in the above list.  His constant comparison with John.  His fear when he walked out on water, causing near-drowning.  His draw of the sword and swipe of the ear when Jesus arrested.  Yes, Peter definitely needed grace.  But if I'm honest, I also see characteristics of myself.  Do you?

As you look on into Peter's ministry, he not just received grace.  He had to learn to give it.  As you study his letters, he spends the majority of his time, getting people back on track.  He addresses fear, holiness, suffering, marriage, the list goes on.   

In the close of his second letter, he says this:  "Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be glory both now and forever!  Amen." (2 Peter 3:17-18)

Grace can not be left behind at the cross.  It can not get lost in the drive to do good.  Ministry can not come before it.  And leadership has to come with it.  I'm going to be bold here:  Somehow, I think grace is getting lost in His church.  

I don't think it's intentional.  But it's happening none the less.  

What would our lives look like if grace were not just a starting point of salvation, but if it were weaved into everything we did? 

Here's where you come in:  I want to hear your stories.  

What does grace look like? 

I want to hear how you've received grace.  How you've given it.  Maybe you've watched it from afar.

If you want to share a story with me, but feel uncomfortable replying in the comments, please e-mail me at lusk_becky@yahoo.com

I would love to hear your stories of how grace has touched your lives.

May we learn together how to grow in grace.


Kim Avery said...

I love grace. In fact, all of life and every breath is sheer grace. My prayer is that as I breathe it in, I will give it out to others.

Thanks for the good reminder.

soZealous said...

There are many parts of my story (SO MANY), that I am not proud of. I ran very far away from the LORD out of anger, disappointment, etc. As much as I wish I hadn't made some of the decisions I did, it has given me a perspective of grace that a lot of "good" Christians might never understand. I am still trying to wrap my head around it.

There are so many examples in my day-to-day of God's grace on me (family, health, provision). Yet, it is so easy to forget. Thank you for this reminder to take some time to reflect on those.