Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Christian Life: "Grace"

"Grace" is something that doesn't exist here on this fallen earth; it has to be imported.

And the only way it can get in is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace is loving bad people, even your enemies.

Such grace is creative in that it "creates" or produces in the person who is loved, a new heart that is responsive to grace.

It is something that we fallen humans just cannot do unless we receive grace from the Lord, and unless we open our hearts to let it stay in.

It's something we don't have to beg an unwilling indifferent Lord to let us have, for He is trying His best to get us to open our naturally unwilling hearts to receive it. "Let this mind be in you," He begs us in Philippians 2:5, "which was also in Christ Jesus." In other words, if we don't resist receiving this grace, He will give it to us!

"Behold the Lamb of God!" says John the Baptist. "Beholding" is simply looking--the natural thing everybody in the world does when something happens, something different than usual. We all crane our necks to get a better view; it's the natural thing to do.

Now, "behold" Jesus, says John the Baptist.

If you think the clouds and the mist are so dense, in your particular circumstances, that you can't "see" Him clearly, remember, He is more desirous that you "behold" than you can be yourself; He loves to drive clouds and darkness and mist away so we can see clearly.

But the desire in our souls must be there like a hunger and thirst that transcends our hunger for breakfast in the morning.

And that's a simple but proper place to start: make a choice to eat not a bite of "breakfast" until you have begun to "feed" upon the "bread of life," which is the word of the Lord.

When I was a teenager, I went through a crisis--I knew I was not truly converted. You know how a teen in the dormitory yearns to get to breakfast in the morning; well, I decided I wouldn't go ... until I at least had a beginning of "eating" some "bread of life."

You may smile at my naiveté; but I meant business with the Lord! I was serious.

And now, even to this day many years later, ... no breakfast until I have knelt on my knees and found some morsel of the "bread of life" first.

And you will know more about the "grace" of the Lord Jesus than the ponderous theology tomes can tell you.

Robert J. Wieland