One of the things that spoke to me the most about while at Catalyst was the subject of GRACE. I felt like it was spinning over and over in my head all week last week.
I felt that word impressed on my heart so much while Mark Driscoll was speaking, but looking over my notes I don’t even see where he was talking about it. Maybe God was having his own little session going on in my heart at the same time.
A few things that some of the speakers did say about the topic of grace are:
– “Transformation requires as much grace as salvation.” – John Ortberg
– “Grace is not opposed to action, it’s oppose to earning.” – Dallas Willard in reference to spiritual disciplines
Reggie Joiner’s message probably hit me the hardest. He said there are 2 approaches we can take in dealing with prodigals (sinners). We can treat them as the Loving Father or the Older Brother.
A Loving Father’s Response
– Preoccupied with whoever is missing.
– Operates from the context of forgiveness.
– Throws parties.
An Older Brother’s Response
– Preoccupied with themselves.
– Operates from the context of shame.
– Throws fits.
How did Jesus respond? In Luke 15:2 it says, “This man sits with sinners and eats with them.”
We, as Christians (myself included), often feel the need to shame others for their sin before we extend grace or forgiveness to them. And I don’t think we do it to help the other person, I think we do it because it makes us look (or feel) better about ourselves. I don’t know why we get such a self-righteous attitude when we see others fall into sin, but that isn’t what the Bible teaches or how Jesus treated people.
As a sinner myself, I’m so glad that Jesus responds with love, grace, and forgiveness and not giving me what I really deserve.
Has God’s grace changed your life? If so, how?