The Paradox of Grace

Shane Claiborne, author and activist, writes in The Irresistible Revolution: “Being a Christian is about choosing Jesus and deciding to do something incredibly daring with your life.”

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After stomaching another article on GRACE my pastor sent my way from a local Youth Pastor, I can’t help but writing a third post on this topic. God seems to be hammering this one home for me. Listen, I get it. Grace is beautifully free and applicable to everyone. God radically umbrellas grace over the brokenness of our lives. 

My experience with the topic of grace has stemmed largely from my involvement in the Lutheran church over the years. Lutherans, from my young perspective, seem to think “they” possess the only GRACE theology out there. The article I read contained a horrific US (Lutherans Who Get Grace) vs. THEM (All Those Other People Who Don’t Understand Grace) mentality. This isn’t the first time…

Let’s make this very clear: I am eternally (no pun intended) thankful for the radical grace of God! The problem is that we lack a thorough understanding of grace. From my perspective, some people spend way too much time speaking and teaching about God’s grace and justification of our sin. Where we fail, as one of my favorite authors Shane Claiborne writes, is in our ability to communicate that we should do something incredibly daring with our lives. We often stop with how we can do nothing to earn salvation; therefore, we just need to be bystanders as God works to sanctify and “set us apart” as He wages war within us. It’s as though we say we are freed by grace, set apart to just love, and that’s it. People become so afraid to ruffle feathers, to challenge spiritual formation, to promote new Spirit-led ways to claim victory, and to call ‘foul’ and claim moral authority and real Truth.

Grace is beautifully free, but I want some black & white truth. I want answers and ways to experience real life. I want to experience God now! I want to know that my life matters and that I’m not seated in the waiting room. I surrender and willingly admit that I can do nothing apart from God, but I also know He requires me to take action, to experience real upside-down Kingdom living, to advance the Dream of God, to dig deeper and interact with the Bible, to come face to face in experiential worship and prayer with Jesus, to become a living barrier to that which opposes our true humanity, and to continually “earn” the grace and love I’ve been so freely given. 

The journey does not end with grace. It umbrellas and covers it, but it does not end. The freedom requires that we advance forward, proceeding boldly, offering black & white truth, and living out the Kingdom life God intended for us to experience NOW!

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One thought on “The Paradox of Grace

  1. Amen,
    I agree with what you say, I am in LOVE with Jesus and will do what HE calls me to do. I am currently mentoring teen girls from my 2 bedroom apartment. God has led me a few months ago to open up my heart and home to these girls. Most of them don’t believe in God “Yet” but God showed me that as I step out in faith and trust in him He will work in there hearts to change that. The ministry is like a book club, we discuss and fellowship, play games for prizes and I cook them dinner as well. It is a good way for them to stay off the streets and out of trouble on Friday nights. I am a single mom with a teen daughter 17years old my self who currently got divorced after 18 years of marriage. I thought I didn’t have much to give when the Lord told me to organize this ministry, but I do know that if I only give my time and love, that is plenty and God will give the rest. I have seen changes in the girls and they now consider me there second mom. God is so Awesome!!!!!
    Many Blessing to you in Jesus name, Rosemarie

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