“Grace. It’s what we crave most when our guilt is exposed. It’s the very thing we are hesitant to extend when we are confronted with the guilt of others—especially when their guilt has robbed us of something we consider valuable.
Therein is the struggle, the struggle for grace. It’s this struggle that makes grace more story than doctrine. It’s the struggle that reminds us that grace is bigger than compassion or forgiveness. That struggle is the context for both. When we are on the receiving end, grace is refreshing. When it is required of us, it is often disturbing. But when correctly applied, it seems to solve just about everything. This struggle is not new; it has been going on since the beginning.”
We find in the pages of Scripture that the stories found there often mirror our own stories, and that we too need the very thing we do not deserve: the grace of God.
From the beginning, the
church has had an uneasy relationship with grace. The gravitational pull is
always toward graceless religion. The odd thing is that when you read the New
Testament, the only thing Jesus stood against consistently was graceless
religion. The only group he attacked relentlessly was graceless religious
Even now as you think about grace, there might be a little voice in your head whispering, “It can’t be that easy!”
“What about obedience?”
“What about disobedience?”
“What about repeated misbehavior?”
“What about bad habits?”
“What about justice?”
“What about repentance?”
It’s this tension that makes grace so slippery. But that’s the beauty and the truth of grace. We don’t deserve it. We can’t earn it. It can’t be qualified. But God gives it to us anyway because he loves us unconditionally.
The story of grace is your story. And as you are about to discover grace plays a larger role than you imagine.
|About the Contributor(s)||Andy Stanley
Communicator, author, and pastor Andy Stanley founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries in 1995. Today, NPM consists of six churches in the Atlanta area and a network of 30 churches around the globe that collectively serve nearly 70,000 people weekly.
As host of Your Move with Andy Stanley, which delivers over five million messages each month through television and podcasts, and author of more than 20 books, including The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating; Ask It; How to Be Rich; Deep & Wide; Visioneering; and Next Generation Leader, he is considered one of the most influential pastors in America.
Andy and his wife, Sandra, have three grown children and live near Atlanta.
|Publish Date||Oct 19, 2010|