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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Inspired by . . . the Gospel of Grace

I've just begun to read Jerry Bridges' The Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness

I'm only in the first chapter, but I'm struck by this notion that we have "regulated the gospel to the unbeliever." Rather than living daily with the conscious reminder that we are the beneficiaries of God's grace through Jesus Christ.

When I ponder this, I realize that many of us have done just what Bridges claims. The tendency, once saved, is to forget that we are still sinners. Sinners saved by grace, yes, but still sinners nonetheless. 

We, I, am not only saved by His grace, but I need to live by His grace. Daily.

To deny this is to deny Him.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1Jn 1:8-9)
Bridges reminds us:
Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.
There is much more to this chapter, but I'm stopping here to consider how we can get a daily dose of the gospel. You've probably already figured it out.

By the daily reading of His word.

These were my scripture readings from yesterday morning:
"For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for My sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out My sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I Myself will be the shepherd of My sheep, and I Myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice. (Eze 34:11-16)
You don't need a bible commentary to understand this passage. The great love God has for us. The seeking and rescuing of the lost, The strengthening and healing of the weak. The purging of sin (fat).
...and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. (Rom 5:5-10)
The gospel shines pretty clearly in that passage. 'Nuff said.
So He told them this parable: "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (Luk 15:3-7)
The passage in Luke ties them nicely together don't you think? This is one of the thoughts I wrote in my journal:
God's proof of His love for us is dying for us, when we were yet His enemy. We are not just saved - it's more than that. There is a reconciling - a drawing into His bosom. We are drawn to the love of the One Who created us. We are home. And He does this for each one of us, regardless of the other. He does this for me.
Being reminded of my need for grace. Being reminded that my need has already been met. Fully and personally. In Christ.

Do you see yourself as a sinner?
Against what or who do you measure your goodness?


Sharing inspiration here:
Small WondersTestimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Let Us Walk Worthy,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June