Embrace The Grace
There was this interesting post at Wade Burleson's Blog, concerning what's called Antinomianism, or the refusal to recognize "the law" (Vast Oversimplification Alert). You can read it for yourself, but the post led me to comment. When I did, the term "Embrace the Grace" just popped out.
It gave me cause to stop and ponder.
In my feeble attempts to walk the walk that I talk, I'm always kind of on the lookout for roadsigns that I'm pleasing God. That I'm somehow "getting it right". I suppose that's OK, but I think I may be diminishing God's grace somewhat, thereby. The plain fact is that I am saved only because He loves me and He drew me unto Himself. And He's ordering my steps down here on earth, for the same Love-reason. He wants me to have an abundant life .. He arranged the world's most startling sacrifice so I could have it .. and my desire is certainly in line with that!
This desire to get it right (if I may ascribe such to that) seems to be behind the law-orientation which seems common, to me. One of the immediate prior comment strings on Wade's blog concerned tithing, and whether the Christian was under the Old Testament command to tithe. Well .. Jason Kearney wrote an excellent piece some time back about our subjection to the OT law, stating that if we're subject to any of it, then we're subject to all of it. And, hence, shame on us for not stoning mom for cooking milk and meat in the same pot, or for wearing a garment of two different materials.
And goodness, the entire BBQ business would be shattered, down here in the Bible Belt! Real BBQ is pork, you know!
As I thought over the term "Embrace the Grace", it suddenly exploded in my mind and my heart. I can't quite describe what took place, other than perhaps it really sank in to the depths of my soul .. God wants me to rest in His arms of grace .. to realize that my desires really aren't the temptation to try to justify my salvation .. that I wasn't trying to "fulfill some obligation I "owe" Jesus" .. that I really have been given a desire to lead a life pleasing to God because I love Him .. in response to His love for me.
But whatever the reality, I know the term "Embrace the Grace" simply grabbed me and brought me to a standstill. I just don't know any other way to explain it.
Will I still pay 10% of our income to the church? You bet. I can't do a lot of stuff, but I can do that. I figure God likes that, and it'll be good for me to do that (it sure has been since we started doing that in 1970), and I just want to do it. Rest assured the "natural me" wouldn't want to!
Will we continue to do the things He mentioned in the 10 commandments? Sure .. I'm guessing He told us that stuff because it'd be good for us, is part of the abundant life (a term He invented anyway), and I sure want an abundant life. But certainly not because He commanded those things of ancient Israel.
I think that, in some ways, I've been "cowering in the corner" of grace, as it were. Perhaps feeling like I'm barely in. Saved by the skin of my teeth. Well, and all the more as I examine my life in the faith, I must conclude that I'm immersed in His overpowering and wonderful and abundant and overflowing and permeating grace.
I'm swimming in it!
EMBRACE THE GRACE!
Oh .. the picture. Well, that's mom and dad, taken in 1960, when they were on vacation in Colorado. Location isn't significant, but they are:
My dominant image of my mom and dad .. the one that pops into my mind .. is one of the very earliest in my memory. When dad would come home from work, mom would always meet him at the front door (she'd hear him open the screen door and walk across the porch). When she'd open the door, he'd grab her in a close embrace, and give her a big kiss. And them standing in that embrace is etched permanently in my memory, and is responsible for a large part of the love and security I felt .. deep down in my soul .. in my family.
I have a feeling that, if my embrace of God's grace is as fervent and loving as mom & dad's was, I'll be every bit as secure and loved, in my heavenly family, as that little kid watching his dad embrace his mom, in the front door at 241 West Waltham Street 60+ years ago.
Mom's name? Grace!!!