Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Learning the Unforced Rhythms of Grace!

“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.

1 comment:

Daveda said...

Yes, yes and yes!! I spend too many years bound up and beat up by the bondage of religion. I was trying earn EVERYTHING, God's love, His mercy, my calling...it became exhausting and that's when God started teaching me about Grace. The freedom His truth has brought to my life is more than i could have ever imagined, and of course, I am still growing and learning. I agree with you, trying to puch the fence too far to one side of the other, results in works of some kind and cannot be true grace. Great post!