Grace-filled, part dos

As I continue to ponder God’s grace, I’ve been struck once again by the sheer depth and complexity of His grace. It is very simple to understand the concept of “unmerited favor”/”unconditional love.” The idea is that there is nothing I can do to make God love me any more than He does and there is nothing I can do to make Him love me any less than He does. I rest in that grace. Yet, it is very easy to allow it to sit at the surface. As a concept alone, grace is very comforting and restful. However, it can fail to transform me.

Titus 2 says that the “grace of God teaches us to say not the ungodliness.” This is transforming, heart altering stuff. How does that happen? I have to allow His grace, His love to penetrate to the depths of my heart. I may be able to “say” that I know He loves the dark things of me. I may be able to verbalize and even share what those dark things are. Yet, I have to be able to move from “theory” to actual practice.

How do I allow God to grace every part of who I am? While I don’t have it all figured out, it does seem very clear that I have to refuse to shut down my heart when I begin to experience those dark places: anger, hurt, jealousy, pride, sadness, lust, etc. My great tendency is to go into “management mode” when those things arise. Instead, I have to pray “Father, don’t let me shut down my heart. I want to experience You right now. I need You. I want You to be my sufficiency.” As I do that, His grace reaches me – it frees me – it teaches me to say no to ungodliness.

Then, as I strive to love others graciously, I realize that I must get past the surface with people and love them right where they are. I can’t say that “I love” – I have to get to know stories and background so that I can show them the grace God has shown me.

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~ by Ted Wueste on September 10, 2008.

One Response to “Grace-filled, part dos”

  1. I definitely identify with what you called “management mode”. It’s all too tempting, and popular, of a strategy. Recently I was feeling very weighed down with sin and feeling like I could not go to the Father and confess until I had a ‘plan’ for getting rid of that sin. I mean, repentance means turning away from your sin, right? But I realized that I am powerless of my own accord to even fully repent. All I can do is to cry out and beg for his grace to forgive and sanctify.

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