Last time I wrote to you all, I wrote on grace. I told you what it is.
Grace is the person and power of the Lord Jesus manifested in a human life.
Sometimes, talking about what something isn’t brings greater clarity to what it is. Let’s look at some false qualities ascribed to grace.
Grace is not….
– Unconditional acceptance. That’s love. Love accepts people as they are. Grace is released through love empowering us to overcome sin and the flesh to manifest Christ. We should always love people. Not accepting their poor behavior or choices is not a lack of grace. It is the beginning of their empowerment.
– A lack of judgment. God has already judged people – they are loved and forgiven. Yet, there is need for righteous judges. Those who see past facades, pain and good excuses. These wise ones are not fooled by religion and feigned penitence. Grace sees things as they really are and works in truth.
– License to sin. Love’s unconditional acceptance has produced a false belief that a person can do whatever they want and still be OK in God’s eyes. Here is a very stark reality: God loves every person in hell. Love, as powerful a force as it is, still requires the agreement of its target to have effect.
– Behavior-minded. Thought and decision starts in the heart. Wounds, strongholds and past experiences injure this source of our behavior. Grace goes past what is seen and ministers there. Good behavior is not proof of a healed heart anymore than bad behavior is proof of a broken one. Until the heart is changed, nothing really changes.
– Always gentle. We tend to forget God is passionate. Apply that passion to His justice and you will experience His fiery love. There is just as much biblical support of a fierce God as there is of a loving one. His anger does not void His love. It validates it. He is patient AND He is jealous. He is kind AND He scourges. It’s all grace.
There, that’s five – the number of grace. Walk in the light as He is in the light.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. This, too, is God’s grace.