A new contributor! Meet and welcome Steve!
Grace has been a theme for me in the last 2 or 3 years. I mean that God’s been teaching me about it – obviously I’ve needed it for …ever.
It’s cropped up in church recently, and this morning Oli’s thoughts appeared.
These have been my thoughts for a long time, why would I want to do life for just me, when I’m so grateful to God for His presence in my life? Why wouldn’t I want to respond to His grace?
My problem was how? How do I do life well? How can I live a life that pleases God? It must be possible, the bible talks about people who please Him. I found little success. I’d been taught that grace was only about being forgiven. Forgiveness is awesome, but on its own it can be a fresh start ready to be messed up again. My gratitude for God’s forgiveness didn’t seem to achieve much more than good intentions.
Back to the title, it’s in the last verse of 2 Peter. Dallas Willard points out that if grace only deals with guilt, this verse makes no sense. He defines grace in a way which includes forgiveness but deals with all of life. “Grace is God acting in my life to accomplish things I can’t accomplish on my own”.
What can I accomplish on my own? Well the lists of bad stuff in Paul’s letters. I can do all of that without God. But the virtues displayed by someone that’s refreshing to be around? No chance with my own strength! No chance just by trying hard. How then? It seems anything worth anything is best approached by training before trying. Concerning character or spirit, training also works – because the Spirit of God is always eager & ready to join us in it. What kind of training? Anything that helps me to know God better and lets Him work in my life. God also works through other people & circumstances, but how much better it is when I join Him in it rather than simply letting stuff happen?
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”
Growth is vital. Growth is change on the inside which can’t help but affect the outside. It’s powered by grace & relationship with Jesus. As we grow, we find ourselves doing good without trying!
Thanks for the reminder Oli.