Grace- a sermon to myself.
I've realized there are realms of grace I can understand and am comfortable with-- usually these are ones that I secretly believe I deserve. Of course God will forgive me because I've tried my hardest to be a good person, and even though I fail, at least my heart was in the right place.
The problem is there are times when your heart isn't in the right place. What about the times when you spurn God? When you deliberately choose things over him because you believe they will give you more joy? When you return to that cistern again, and again.... and yet again. When you look at your heart and despair because all you really see there is someone who desires only to satisfy and please them self?
Does grace extend that far?
What are the roles of men and women in the Bible except to tell story after story of deliberate disobedience met with grace through repentance?
I've discovered there are realms of grace I'm uncomfortable with, that are too radical for my mind to grasp. And yet they are not for God.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German and Christian who risked everything to shelter Jews from the Nazi's said this of God's love and grace:
"God loves human beings. God loves the world. Not an ideal human, but human beings as they are; not an ideal world, but the real world. What we find repulsive in their opposition to God, what we shrink back from with pain and hostility, namely, real human beings, the real world, this is for God the ground of unfathomable love.”
What is grotesque and repulsive in you? What is in your life that keeps you from accepting grace and guidance to move forward and out of sin?
To reject such costly and powerful grace is the saddest possible outcome. So accept it. Even when it seems too radical to believe. Especially when it seems too radical-- because that in of itself is a sure indication that it is from Jesus. Because through him alone can such grace exist.