Always ThereDo you believe that the Lord is always with you?
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A Week With Louie - Fruitcake & Ice Cream
Featuring Louie Giglio
"Are we trying to pat ourselves on the back again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart before God." (v.12)
Grace is what sets Christianity apart. It is the center of our faith and what makes the cross so significant. Yet, grace is often misunderstand by Christians. It is easy to say things like “Grace is a gift we don’t deserve.” “God’s grace.” “Grace is free.” But do we understand what we’re saying? If we did, if we really felt the weight of those words and fully comprehended the significance of them, we would literally dance for joy every time because the nature of grace is the best news we could ever hear.
Far too many of us talk about grace, read about grace and tell others about grace without believing that we ourselves have grace. We believe it for others but when we look into our own souls and see who we really are—all of our sin and darkness—it is difficult to believe grace is for us too.
2 Corinthians 2:21 reminds us of what we so easily forget, even as Christians: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Just before this verse, Paul assures us “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 2:19). This frees us. We can recognize our sin, see it and hate it, but then know God is not counting it against us. Instead, he has done the opposite and reconciled himself to us through the cross.
Are you jumping for joy yet? Paul said we should. He said, “If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God” (2 Corinthians 2:13). The revelation of grace and what it means for our lives is enough to cause so much joy, we would look a little insane to someone who doesn’t understand the concept.
One of the hardest things to do is receive something we know we don’t deserve. Grace is countercultural and proves we cannot do anything in this life to earn God’s love and favor. In that sense, accepting grace is the most humbling of callings. Accepting grace is agreeing that we’re nothing and God is everything. There is no medal in it for us or pats on the back; just a decision to live the most meaningful life with the most prized reward at the end of it.