ヨハネ 1:16-17 私たちはみな、この方の満ち満ちた豊かさの中から、恵みの上にさらに恵みを受けたのである。とい うのは、律法はモーセによって与えられ、恵みとまことはイエス・キリストによって実現したからである。

“From out of His abundance we have all received grace upon grace.” That truth is so real and so deep, and yet so many miss it. We don't deserve anything but destruction, yet God has poured His mercy out upon us. The minute we start thinking we deserve to have it easy, we lose out on most of the benefits of what we do have. The secret to a happy life is recognizing that we don't deserve as good as what we have, but that God in His grace and mercy has prepared even better for us. Gratefulness and expectation do a lot toward overcoming the negative junk the devil shovels onto us. The purpose of the Law of Moses is to help us understand how gracious God is. We cannot possibly keep every detail of the written code, and as James said, “Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (James 2:10) That is why we focus so much on grace! In some ways legalism seems easier than following grace, because external rules don't require us to think so much about why we are doing things. However the Bible is abundantly clear that we cannot be saved by our own efforts, that is, by obeying a set of rules, but only by believing in the grace of God. (Ephesians 2:8-9)


In addition to this being of utmost importance in my own salvation, as a pastor I am charged with helping those around me understand it as well. Actually, this is at the core of the Gospel that all believers are charged with communicating. I've got to help people see that faith expressing itself through love is our goal. (Galatians 5:6) Christians today run around applying all sorts of litmus tests to one another to check on doctrinal purity and the like, but that is divisive in the face of Jesus' prayer that we would all be one! (John 17:20-21) That's not at all to say that I should accept anything that comes down the road, or that I should fail to lay a solid doctrinal foundation in the believers, but it is to say that I should focus on God's grace before I start looking for things to disagree with.


Father, this is something I have been strongly aware of for a long time. It hurts me when someone rejects what I see as a Biblical truth, and it hurts me even more when, from my viewpoint, they lay down truth to take up error. Help me be consistent in speaking Your truth in love, not to defend You and certainly not to defend me, but to let Your Spirit work Your truth into people's hearts. May I be an effective channel of Your grace and truth to all I encounter, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


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