Friday, May 19, 2017
“Be careful to obey all my commands, so that all will go well with you and your children” Deuteronomy 12:28
It’s all Grace
Many people think that the Old Testament is all rules, law and judgment and that the New Testament is all Grace and forgiveness. Without realizing it we can come to view God as the ‘bad guy’ in the Old Testament (vindictive, jealous, ready to annihilate anyone who crosses him), and Jesus as the ‘good guy’ who came to rescue us from God!
This is simply wrong. The entire bible is all Grace. God creates a people for himself. God did it, all Him, with no input from ourselves. That’s grace. God gave humans a world to co-create in relationship with Himself. That’s grace, all God. God gave them a relational structure on which to build a society (God-man-woman – the trinitarian relationship of marriage and family). All God. When the first humans chose to self-select themselves out of Eden (Genesis 3), God did not quit on them. God did not file for divorce. Grace.
Throughout the bible God makes covenants (“wedding vows”) with his people and constantly renews them even while his people never ceased ‘committing adultery’. God gave Abraham a huge family he did not ask for. God gave Abraham’s descendants not just His faithfulness to them, but he also taught them how to thrive and flourish in the good world that God gave them by giving them 10 commandments. Why? “so that all will go well with them.” All Grace. All God. The list goes on.
Then the cross.
Question: Are you aware that you were saved on the cross almost 2,000 years ago? Do you recognize, really recognize, that your faith, your efforts to please God, your good deeds, do not get you into God’s Kingdom? Do you know that God’s Grace precedes rather than follows what you do for him?
Do you live your Christian life in gratitude for all God has done and is doing for you or do you live in a constant guilt-fueled frenzy trying to do enough good so that God will accept you? The former is the abundant life. The latter is debilitating and completely misses everything that Christianity is about. The former invigorates your relationship with God. The latter deadens it. Which kind of life are you leading?
“Lord, please show me how to live the obedient life, not to appease your wrath or balance the scales, rather because it’s the path to living abundantly today and forever. Amen”