scared by grace

Grace is hard. Can I get an amen? Like trying not to spill your full coffee mug while driving on gravel road hard. It takes all I have to give grace and even then I fail. Why? Because I am trying to muster up grace from within myself but believe you me: I ain't got grace to give. I have rules, expectations, disappointment to give and it crushes the people around me who need grace so desperately. 

And grace is hard to receive. Because we know when we mess up we deserve a consequence. When someone withholds it, it feels wrong, doesn't it?

Grace is scary, even offensive. Because we fear that if we say that grace abounds, that grace extends over all our continual screws up, then someone will take advantage of that. Grace flows freely? Okay, then I'll keep sinning because there is grace, right?

And it sounds wrong to say that there is grace for everyone and every sin. That's too much. Maybe grace can cover a white lie but it can't cover repeated failure, it can't cover the big sins, it can't cover the sin of someone who keeps saying they're sorry yet keeps falling into the same sins. 

Grace is scandalous and it wreaks havoc on the way we think. It is counter-culture, counter-human. It challenges what we think, believe, and the way we generally live.

I mean think about it: if you are a believer and from here on out you did nothing for the rest of your life you would remain a believer. If no good came from your life, if you never read your Bible again, never talked to the Lord again, never showed kindness or mercy to others the grace of the Lord would still surpass you. You would remain in the Father by the work of Christ.

Does that make you uncomfortable? It does me. Because I want to work for my salvation. 

Praise be to God that it is not based on my works, for even the good works are filthy to God. I have no good within me which is why I so desperately need grace. 

How can we come to terms that it is only by grace we are saved in a world that is so afraid of grace? How can we believe that it is nothing we do that saves us, it is only the grace of our Father when our nature says that we must work for everything?

We must trust the work of Christ on the cross. We must keep the cross before us each day. We must continually go to hear the preached Word of grace. We must continually partake in the Lord's supper so that we remember the work of grace in his flesh and his blood. 

As our nature screams that grace doesn't make sense I pray we marvel at the Grace-Giver, the one who does the unthinkable: he keeps us in him, continually giving us grace, even though all we deserve is death and separation.