Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Grace Scandal: You Never Give Up On Me

Romans 8:35, 38-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The amazing implications of Romans 8:35, 38-39 is that you cannot out-sin God's love.

God never gives up on us.

This portion of Scripture is well known almost to the point that familiarity has lessened it. But the reality of Jesus' life on earth proves that He will never give up on us.

John 1:10-11
[Jesus] was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.

The very people that Jesus was coming to show His love and grace to rejected Him. He gave them life and they spit in His face. At any moment Jesus could have said,

"I'm tired of the disrespect. I quit! I've had enough; if they are going to act like this than so be it! To hell with them all."

But He didn't.

His love remained through all the hatred, all the conspiracy, all the way to the cross. If He didn't give up then He won't give up on you now.

While hanging of the cross Jesus showed His love for all mankind (Luke 23:33-35). I believe Jesus would have hugged the Roman soldiers as they beat Him and nailed Him to the cross. So I seriously doubt that what I do right now would make Him give up on me.

Luke 15 contains three parables that illustrate God going after something that had been lost. The Shepherd left 99 sheep to go looking for the 1 that was lost. The Woman with 10 silver coins loses 1 and does some spring cleaning to find it. The Father whose son left with his inheritance to squander it on the world's pleasures only to return back home with nothing and starving. Following each story of the lost being found there is a great celebration not condemnation.

The Shepherd and the Woman in these stories went searching for what was lost. The Father waited for the son to return. He waited patiently and still looked for his son hoping one day he would return home. Understand this the father loved his son so much that he allowed the son to do with his life as he chose. But once the son's journey brought him back to the father; the father ran to him.

The reality is that we quit on God; not the other way around. Don't get that twisted.

If one Christian wrongs a person, from that point on all Christians are hypocrites and God is fake. But for some reason they miss how many times the world has brought them down because they always retreat to the world. The world lets them do what they want. They give up on God simply because they don't want to deal with the reality of their circumstances. What they don't realize is that God loves them so much that He will allow them to go to hell if that's the course they choose.

There is only one thing that can separate us from God's love and grace and that is SELF; us simply not wanting His love and grace. However, even that won't stop God from loving you and offering you His grace.

I would have written myself off a long time ago. But God went after me. His love found me. His grace was too irresistible. I don't completely know why but He never gave up on me. So I know God won't give up on you.

1 comment:

jared said...

Saying it well and saying it straight! Getting this idea of Grace is the best and hardest thing I've endeavored to do. Believing in God isn't that hard, but believing that He can't be understood and loves me out of that is both frustrating and comforting - but we can still live there - 'cause He called us to.