Links Daily Devotional

Our Love and God’s Love, Part 3: Living in Grace

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5, NIV)

In Christ, we are safe. But let’s put our belief in that assurance to the test.

Think about if you could play the game of golf knowing you would always get a bounce back in the fairway… how would you swing? how free would you feel? how joyous would you be when your errant shot was gracefully put back in the fairway, when that dreaded pull-hook stayed out of the hazard?

I daresay you felt great just thinking about this! But I will also daresay you couldn’t hold on to this very long. Questions sprung up like weeds right after joy and thankfulness bloomed—what if less-skilled players could play well that way? what if people started aiming for the trees just to get the bounce? isn’t it unfair that a good swing and a bad swing would get the same result?

What just happened in your mind? The good news is that you grasped what grace really is. That is why those questions, addressing the ramifications of such a radical grace, came up.

The bad news is that you proceeded to judge grace and others while completely forgetting that, in the spiritual realm, you deserve to be deep in the woods, with no way out—that is the justice of God for your sins. Why do we always seem to take the “more skilled, more deserving” point of view and complain that grace isn’t fair or just? That is because we tend to be blind to our own sin, just like Jesus points out in Matthew 7:3: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”  Blaise Pascal wrote: “We can only know God well when we know our own sin.”

Grace is glorious in itself—and when the Lord searches our hearts and reveals our sin, yet clothes us in righteousness through Christ, we experience inexplicable joy. And to know that such a God is the same one who formed us and to recognize that such a God bestows grace on fellow sinners—now this should make our joy even more complete!

I have always wondered how Paul could rejoice while in prison, how he could praise God and sing hymns after being beaten and flogged (Acts 16:25). All the apostles faced tremendous trials while constantly exhorting us to rejoice. They reveal to us again and again in their letters how this was possible: supernatural joy comes through assurance of undeserved grace—seeing it and understanding it. Peter let us know in today’s passage that this inheritance can never perish, spoil or fade! Let us hold on to this extraordinary gift and praise Jesus for bringing his sheep to safe pastures and beautiful fairways.

Isabelle Beisiegel

July 17, 2013

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