Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Grace

"God would rather die than let sin be a big issue between us and Him."

Someone called me up this week and said, "I've decided to seek after greater things. What do you have to tell me?" That opportunity compels me to revisit my standard question: "What's essentially going on here?" I think about this weekly, and have narrowed down my summary to five things. Here's the first:

The nature of God is entirely different than most people think. He's about grace.

A lot of times, the way we talk about God's attitude toward us and sin, is more like, God is so holy that he can't stand to be in our sinful presence, and he feels really slimed by our messiness. So, be afraid and careful, and come to Jesus.

Actually, the story is completely different as evidenced by the Jesus Mission. Jesus demonstrated that God loves us in a shocking way. He came to us, wrapped our dirtiness around himself, and then gave us a big hug. If anyone looked at Jesus on the day he died, broken and humiliated, at the very least, they'd have concluded, THAT God is not stuck up or stand-offish. THAT God is not interested in lording it over anybody.


I'm fond of saying that "the kingdom of God is attacked by the world, with its fleshly desires and temptations, on one side and religiosity on the other." Who killed Jesus? The sinners, the drug dealers, the reprobates, the loose women? No, it was the offended religious leaders of his day. Be mindful of this. It's about grace. How we continue to screw this up mystifies me. People expect and keep recreating a very judgmental and fussy God. Even people who think they understand Christianity miss that point. It's like an evil impulse within us. But God is fantastically generous. He would rather die than have to judge you. That's the basic Jesus story. Get it straight.

He isn't waiting to approve of us.  He's waiting to relate to us.  Very different things.

And in fact, he will give us what we need to start that relationship. Our action step is to  accept and entrust ourselves to this God of grace.