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Grace: Too Familiar?

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Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home. –John Newton, Amazing Grace

Those of us privileged to be a Christian for any length of time have probably heard a lot about grace. It’s divine, unmerited favor. It works within us to produce the life and power of Christ. It’s beautiful and amazing.

We can also take it for granted.

You get used to grace being there and working until you mistakenly start thinking you’re the one producing the results. It was your prayer, your standing, your worship, your gifts, your wisdom–that’s what got you to where you are. Won’t take long to come to a grinding halt though. You left something important behind.

Grace.

Yesterday as I was praying, I found myself saying, “Grace is enabling the breakthrough.” It was one of those moments that sort of caught me off guard, but enlivened my spirit. I repeated it and felt God’s presence.

What hit me was that we are saved “by grace through faith,” that Jesus didn’t come because we deserved it. He didn’t die on a cross because we earned it. In fact, you never can earn it; you never can deserve it.

Whenever you have a breakthrough in your life, it’s grace. Believers who want to follow Jesus don’t get the option to do it their own way, pull themselves up by the bootstraps, or claim their victories. It’s His strength that sees us through. It’s His grace that brings the breakthrough we need.

The praying, the enduring, the declaring, the worshipping–it doesn’t produce our breakthrough. It puts us in position to receive His grace.

What are your thoughts? 

10 Comments

  1. you are I are sort along the same line today Jason. Mine isn’t so much about grace but about taking things for granted. Paul sure talked about that in Romans 6.
    Bill (cycelguy) recently posted..MundaneMy Profile

    • Familiarity can be a dangerous thing. Comfort is good, but getting too comfortable is going to cost us. I guess another word for “too comfortable” would be “lazy.” True grace doesn’t promote laziness or busyness for busyness’ sake. It promotes Him and our relationship with Him. Thanks Bill.

  2. Amen, brother. It’s all about His grace, which encompasses love and mercy. Man oh man, I’m thankful for it. Good one, Jason.

  3. Amen and well said!

    I was reading ch 15 of Sorges book today and I wrote this, “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength because it’s not their strength carrying them, it’s Gods.”

    Phil 4:13, anything we do is through God.

    I’m coming to learn nothing is about me. It’s all about God. I can’t produce my next breathe, I need Him for everything! I don’t even know how to love Him or pray without Him!

    Awesome post. God is using you!

    • Excellent thoughts. We definitely have to allow His grace to change our thinking on this. We feel like if we get past this one hurdle or obstacle, THEN we’ll be strong. It’s always His strength. He does give it to us, but as soon as pride moves in the grace that fed the strength is blocked. Thanks so much, TC.

  4. Sometimes I wonder if grace keeps me from trying harder, from pursing the ‘Excellent”. “Good enough” seems to be a mantra that I employ right next to the Grace Card
    David Rupert recently posted..Idolizing our scars -- It’s Time to Break the Rope of “Can’t”My Profile

    • Interesting thought, David. While grace definitely covers my shortcomings and inadequacies, it has to produce something greater if it’s truly His grace. It pushes and transforms as we see in the New Testament church--people, cities, regions. The outpouring of grace through Jesus led to a worldwide commission and a life of submission. Thanks for your thoughts, David! Got my juices flowing.

  5. My thoughts… well, I fall into the camp of self improvement and bootstrapping, actually. I focus too much on the hard work I’ve done to change my life rather dramatically, and I fail to give God and His grace full credit. And actually, this is a dilemma I’m facing with the book I’m writing right now. I want to show the progress and steps I went through to change, but I fully realize it wouldn’t not have happened without His grace. Struggling to find my voice for the book in this area. It’s not that I don’t believe His grace is what did it, I completely do. Just struggling with how to verbalize this.
    Kari Scare recently posted..5 Ways to Be Strong for the StressedMy Profile

    • I understand what you mean. There is the element of improvement that comes, but even if you’re “born with” that drive, it’s still grace. Praying you find the grace to verbalize His grace. :) You raise an important point. Grace is the beginning of transformation and then we trust that grace to lead us in the steps we must take for lasting change. Thank you, Kari.

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