Tuesday, March 2, 2010

IOW: Grace, Because of Who He Is

I am your hostess today. Please share with us.

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:6
Quote from What's So Amazing About Grace?

One who has been touched by grace will no longer look on those who stray as 'those evil people' or 'those poor people who need our help.' Nor must we search for signs of 'loveworthiness.' Grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are.

~Philip Yancey~
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Do we truly understand what grace is?

Whose death?

Can we wrap our minds around just what it cost for us to claim the name 'Christ-bearer'?

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:21

If we completely accept that a holy God loves us enough to give His beloved Son to die for the sins we have committed...will commit... Do we really believe we have the right to judge the worthiness of another?

Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act...
He...said to them, "He who is without sin among you,
let him be the
first to throw a stone at her...
Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?" She said, "No one, Lord."
And Jesus said,
"I do not condemn you, either Go. From now on sin no more." John 8:4, 7 10-11

Of all the books on my bookshelf, I seem to pick up Philip Yancey's book over and over. I get choked up reading it. There is a chapter called 'Grace-Healed Eyes' that discusses his friendship with a man who after years of knowing each other and being close friends, admitted to being a homosexual. This chapter peels away the layers of controversy over the subject of immorality and reveals the deep pain of rejection that man lives with. At the end of the chapter, Yancey quotes Helmut Thielicke (1908-1986), a German Protestant theologian. In trying to get my mind around the concept of true grace, I am both awed and bewilderingly grateful that the King of Heaven loves me:
When Jesus loved a guilt-laden person and helped him, He saw in him an erring child of God. He saw in him a human being whom His Father loved and grieved over because he was going wrong. He saw him as God originally designed and meant him to be, and therefore He saw through the surface layer of grime and dirt to the real man underneath. Jesus did not identify the person with his sin, but rather saw in this sin something alien, something that did not belong to him, something that chained and mastered him and from with He would free him and bring him back to his real self. Jesus was able to love men because He loved them right through the layer of mud.
This is why...

Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him
endured the cross... Hebrews 12:2

We have been touched by grace...

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything,
faith working through love. Galatians 5:6

Can we also reach out to touch the weary and suffering ones with that very same grace, paying no regard for the differences we encounter?

But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus,
in the same way as they also are.
Acts 15:11
Grace Defined:

a. the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.
b. the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.

But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more... Romans 5:20

Father of our Lord, Lover of my soul... Help me to see each person with love as the person You intended each one to be. Thank you for the grace that makes my life beautiful in any circumstance. Please make my life a blessing to others and a sweet savor to You. Amen.

For more information on In Other Words, visit Loni at Writing Canvas.


Debbie said...

Thank you for hosting us this week. I love the quote and how timely for me to focus on His grace. It's so easy in our humanness to judge others. But to have the eyes of Jesus and love as Jesus loves is amazing.


Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said...

This was a wonderful and truely challenging quote that had me debating...can I do this? Can I write on this quote and what it has touched my heart about?

Love how you had shared about how we are to love as Jesus loves us not as how we as humans choose to love.

Karen said...

Thanks so much Patricia for today's quote to ponder and think about. Grace is often something we don't understand so it gets distorted and abused. We are so blessed to have a God that loves us strictly because He wants to. Have a great day!

Nic said...

Grace is always something I have loved about God. How He extends it to us when we really don't deserve it. Great quote for today! :-)