God's Grace Never Ends [Frankly Friday v. 10]

Grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin!

I cannot get the refrain for the hymn "Grace Greater Than Our Sin" out of my mind. The theme of grace seems to be coming at me from everywhere. No kidding.

I reviewed a book on grace. (There is still time to enter to win a copy too.) My pastor keeps talking about the topic. I'm currently reading a book on parenting, which though it's really an attachement parenting, secular book, is laced with grace. There are situations Ben and I are facing in which we have felt called to extend grace.

I mean I can't run from it if I wanted to.

(Ok...well I guess I could but then I'd be living in denial. I've been there. I've done that. It ain't pretty, builds a mountain out of a mole hill, and requires a freakin' ton of time to clean up rather than just dealing with it in the beginning. So not worth the time to deny and repair. Plus, I'm not welcoming horrible feelings. I get enough of those without welcoming them considering we live in a broken world.)

One of the most important lessons I am learning about grace came through the connections pastor at our church: Jesus, the ultimate example, never let go of grace or truth. He always had a firm hand on both.

For instance, take the passage of the woman brought before Jesus who was caught in adultery. (John 8:1-11) After all is said and done, Jesus leaves her with these words: "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more." (John 8:11 NASB) He extends grace by telling her he does not condemn her. (Please note, in biblical times, the Law carried a heavy weight and strictly enforced anyone caught in adultery be put to death. see Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22) This was huge in this time, and Jesus extending grace here speaks, to me, of it being a part of His nature. However, He completes His statement by telling her to turn from her sin: He holds fast to truth as well.

While the Law/Truth shows us our desperate need for grace, Grace sets us free to live knowing we cannot be perfect but produces a desire to strive to live rightly.

I don't know about you, but I think I'll be chewing on what my pastor said for a long time. I'm still processing it, struggling with it, wondering how on earth I will ever embody that statement at all. I know of my own accord it will not happen.

Oh, praise Jesus for the Spirit at work constantly in me!

Because I'm still thinking on, processing, chewing, mulling over this vastly incomprehensible yet partially understood concept, I don't know I have much more I have to share. I do want to share a note I jotted in my journal, something I feel God whispered to my spirit as I was reading One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian:

I [God] never stop extending grace; the invitation is always open, always available, never expires. I will discipline sin in those whom I call My children [Hebrews 12:6] but I have never said, nor will I ever say, "You sinned too much: My grace is no longer for you, available to you." It completely contradicts the very work of the Cross, the work which I sent My Beloved Son to complete, and My very nature."

Umm...WOW! I still read what resonated in my spirit and find myself in complete awe. It makes me wonder if I've ever really allowed myself to feel the full extent of His grace. After all, I am constantly aware of my struggle to perform to please Him.

Last I checked, doing is fruit, not an "A+ you get in" card. "For it is by GRACE you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9, emphasis added) A verse well known, yet I'm curious how many of us actually live basking in that truth.

Grace: it will wreck your world, in the best possible way...at least, it's wrecking mine, but I'm feeling the call to press in, not run from it: a holy wrecking.

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