The Greatness of Grace
We like to be forgiven, but we can find hardness in our hearts when it’s our turn to erase the debt. Our hands readily form tight tepees while in half-stance begging for understanding, and yet sometimes our ears have selective hearing when someone else implores us to sympathize. It’s hard to be consistent, especially when we want satisfaction. In between holy desire and yet-to-fully-redeemed weakness lies a seemingly endless tutoring session where we must be taught that only One deserves to maintain the throne. Only lashings, bruises, bumps, woodshed-strap moments, bitter failures and infused empathy can move us along our progressive path. I wish it were quicker.
Enter the Cross. A dagger placed into a cliff that drew a line between maybe and yes and provided us with the privilege and power to forgive. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away our sin! Behold the sacrifice that frees us from justly deserved punishment! Behold a new heart that takes years to grow! We’ve been given release from the greatest merited consequence of Hell and that should breed the greatest gratitude; a gratefulness that sees each soul either receiving a rightful sentence or being given unfathomable mercies. At the Cross we gained everything and it cost us nothing.
When we view our misery at the foot of Calvary, it should compel us to think deeper for we’ve been given not just another chance, but endless mercy. By grace and through faith we can now rest. There is peace. Peace eternal. Because of Christ’s payment and position, we can now rest from trying to appease God’s just anger against our iniquity. We can rest from guilt and shame and the condemnation that goes with it. We can rest fully in Him who is our Righteousness, the Resurrection and the Life.
And what comes of it ?
A greater grace. A greater fold of compassion towards those still lost in the wheel like confused and blind vagabonds too stubborn to see. What comes of it is a melting down of the callous shell that protects a fearful heart not willing to be vulnerable. Through trials and broken relationships the heart barriers that make us cold crumble as the overflowing love of the Father seen in the provision of Christ the Son wears away the stone and there is a reshaping of what was once a hardened and impenetrable glob. The old man is laid to rest and the new man learns how to walk freshly bathed in the heavenly waters.
We should be choked-up more over what we once thought to be sentimental silliness. We should be less upset and more heartfelt. We should be more soft. We should be less impatient and more trusting. We should be full of faith. We should be more like Him.
The apostle Peter said that if the Fruit of the Spirit are found in us and are increasing, “…they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.” (2Peter 1:8-11)