Tuesday, July 29, 2014
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message
What does it actually mean to learn the unforced rhythms of grace? This is a great question to ponder. The Lord put it on my heart to write about this. So to begin with I am no expert on what this passage completely means. I am not saying I know it all. I can only share with you what I see the Lord showing me concerning this passage.
Whenever we mention grace two opposing sides appear with their rhetoric. One rejects the gospel of grace because they fear losing control of the people in their church or ministry. They get overly concerned their flock will begin to sin wildly if grace is taught in its fullness. They also realize they would have to throw away half of the sermons they ever preached. Their book writing revenues would falter as well. No more would people buy the “ten ways to…” or “the 4 steps to divine …” grace is "bad for business" because it puts religion out of business.
The other side apparently receives grace in all its fullness. They begin to talk the right “grace lingo”. They buy all the “right” grace books. They attend all the “right” meetings. In spite of all this outward display of their reception of the gospel of grace their true heart is revealed. They turn rebellious and claim any spiritual act is apart from grace, it is therefore works and legalism. They refuse to pray or give or read their Bible. This is also a rejection of pure grace. Grace doesn’t say feeding on the word is works or self efforts. So both sides of the debate are in error because they both reject pure grace.
I believe this passage in Matthew 11 really sums up pure grace in our daily living. It addresses both extremes and the rejection of pure grace. Let’s look at the first portion of this passage.
“Are you tired?” “Worn out?” “Burned out on religion?”
This is exactly what religion does to the Saints. It burns us out. It places so many into bondage to performance based trappings. It wears us out with the strivings and toils.
Where religion misses it is in this simple explanation of what works are. Works are us trying to earn or achieve what God has already provided for us. This is why religion burns us out. It gets us so focused on trying to earn, or achieve or deserve.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. We are not trying to earn or achieve anything. Works based salvation is us trying to do something to become something. Religion doesn’t get that we are already made perfect in Christ. We already became something in Christ.
We need not try and do more in order to become righteous. We need not try to achieve a status to become more righteous in God’s sight. We need not put forth more effort to become anointed. Jesus, by His grace has already made us righteous and anointed. We flow with grace to walk out daily who we already are made within. It’s a maturing into who we’ve been made to be.
If we look at the middle portion of the passage Jesus states come away with Him and you will recover your life. In other words get away with grace and recover. Let Jesus heal the wounds of abusive churches and leaders. Follow and flow with grace that’s where real growth occurs.
As for those who say grace means I just sit on my couch and never do anything productive Jesus says this.
“Walk with Me, work with me-watch how I do it.”
Jesus is saying flowing in the unforced rhythms of grace produces fruitful lives. Can we just sit on the couch? Can we do nothing until Jesus returns and God still love us and take care of us? Certainly, we are His beloved children. However, is this fruitful living? Is this a growing relationship with the Lord? Of course, we’d say no. So flowing in grace produces a fruitful life without effort or striving.
We can flow with grace allowing Him to lead us into all truth and guiding our lives into victorious, abundant living.
I trust this message has blessed you and encouraged your walk with the Lord. I pray you pass it on to bless others. I pray The Lord blesses you this week.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
My beloved friend, I pray that everything is going well for you and that your body is as healthy as your soul is prosperous. 3 John 2
In the last two posts I've been answering an objection to healing in the finished work. Whenever you teach about healing in the finished work of Christ, someone always ponders the thought doesn't God get glory in our sickness? This objection is a considerable stronghold in the lives of many believers.
By rightly dividing the Word we can remove this obstacle. So today I wish to address the Scripture that many point to in endeavoring to establish their view that sickness brings God glory.
What brought God glory then in this passage? Was it the sickness or the healing and raising up of Lazarus?
Many believed in the Lord because they saw how good God is. No one was believing while Lazarus was sick or when he died. So healing and God's goodness is what brings glory to God. Does God get glory out of sickness? No, a thousand times no! God is good He gets glory out of your wholeness not brokenness and sickness.
I trust this post has blessed and encouraged you in your walk with the Lord. I pray the healing power of God to flow into every area of your life. In Jesus name, amen!
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24
In my last article I posed the question is God glorified when we are sick and diseased? To ask it another way, does God get glory when we are sick? I proved with Scripture that healing and wholeness is what truly brings glory to God.
Inevitably though, some will raise objections and point to John 9 and John 11. So I want to reflect on John 9 today and see if it in fact does teach that God sometimes is glorified when we are sick.
AND as Jesus passed by he saw a man who was blind from his mother's womb.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Teacher,who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus said to them, Neither did he sin nor his parents. But that the works of God might be seen in him,
I must do the works of him who sent me, while it is day; the night comes when no man can work.
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
When he said these words, he spat on the ground, and mixed clay with his saliva, and he placed it on the eyes of the blind man.
Then he said to him, Go and wash in the baptismal pool of Siloam. He went and washed, and he came seeing.
See how punctuation changes things? This translation gets it right here I believe. So throw away those old sermons or turn off those preachers on TV saying whatever you're going through is God's doing and He is just getting ready to "show you off". Listen Jesus defeated the devil and finished the work at Calvary! He is showing us off when we receive all He has already accomplished. We show off God's goodness and grace because we know we don't deserve it and haven't earned it!
God is good all the time. He isn't afflicting you just to deliver or heal you to prove His power. That is tradition and not the truth of the Word. God already paid for our healing at the Cross. Thank God! I pray this article has blessed you. Thanks for reading. Consider passing this on to bless others with this truth.