A Day in the Life of a Pastor – Grace

The book had been on my “check out” list for a long time.  Overlooked numerous times, I thought, “It’s time for a Christian book.”  Without much ado, I checked out “Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine by Max Lucado.  He is a great author and I always enjoy his writing but honestly didn’t think much about it.  Then, I decided to read the book of Romans verse by verse as my devotional and I posted Romans 1:7 “May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.”   It began to germinate that God was beginning to teach me some things.
It struck me that here is one of the most powerful Christian leaders of all time (Paul) addressing the Roman believers and the two things he is praying for is grace and peace.  Now, peace I totally understand.  Rome being the most advanced, civilized city at that time was filled with a personal tension in so many areas.  It makes sense that believers in Christ would need peace.  Yet, I never noticed grace before.  I don’t even think I have ever heard one definition of grace that has covered the concept in its entirety.  
Lucado didn’t define it but wrote a great description about grace; “Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off.” I like the two parts – calls us to change and gives us power to change.  God continues to draw us to him and challenges us to see what a relationship with him will do.  The second part is different than all other religions. Other than best practices or rituals, God does something utterly amazing. “The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you” (Col. 1:27 MSG)  Lucado writes, “No other movement implies the living presence of its founder in his followers.”  Wow, that really hits home.  God wants relationship,paid the price with His Son to get the relationship, desires change that will strengthen and build relationship and lives in us to give us to ability to make the changes.  Lucado illustrated it like this. “Grace is God as heart surgeon, cracking open your chest, removing your heart—poisoned as it is with pride and pain—and replacing it with his own. Rather than tell you to change, he creates the change. Do you clean up so he can accept you? No, he accepts you and begins cleaning you up.”

That is grace. It isn’t obeying a bunch of rule and doing a number of rituals that will get you favor with God.  It’s relationship where God has his part and we have ours.  And, it recognizes what we can do in our fallibility and where God needs to be God.  What a relationship!
What does grace look like in your life today?

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