Habanero splash

I’m going to again bring up a question I placed last week, are you getting hammered on God’s grace?

I wrote last week on how Christians needed to get drunk on grace, and after reading Philip Yancey’s What’s So Amazing About Grace? I was confronted with how I don’t often live up to that reality. Quite frankly, I become grace-less instead of grace-full, exuding the exact opposite spirit of Jesus.  Grace-less Christians looks like those who are horribly mean to others but who are quick to claim the name of Jesus while grace-full are true to Christ will remaining winsome and loving.  I, my friends, want to be marked as a grace-full follower of Jesus.

If I can be candid, I find myself veering from grace-full to grace-less as quickly as someone cutting me off on the freeway.  Sometimes I’ll say mean cutting things that simply have no place in conversation (forget about what’s on my mind!).  I am a wreck in need of God’s unending grace.

The great world religions all offer something to the globe, some offer a strong moral code and others offer philosophical frameworks, but the Christian faith is different.  It is not centered on becoming “good,” as noble as that goal is.  It’s also not about getting right with God, although that plays a huge part in it.  It’s about grace.

The incredible thing is that God had mercy on us, even when we did not deserve it.

He invited us into his house, and offered us a seat at his table.

I love the parable of the wedding banquet and the imagery it gives.  In it we are told the story of a king who prepared a great banquet for his friends.  In this story, the people he invited to the party didn’t show up, in fact they rejected his invitations at the last minute (these people are worse than those who text you at the last moment, they spit in the face of their old friend).

In the parable, the king didn’t toss out the food he had carefully prepared, instead he made the radical choice to invite others.  He invited strangers, people out on the margins of society into his banquet room.  He sat them down at his table and invited them into a relationship.

Could you imagine what it would have been like to be at that table?  I imagine these people sitting before a huge Henry VIII style feast, with fruit, bread, meat, and wine arrayed on the long table.  The incredible thing is that Jesus also calls us into a feast.

Jesus calls us to join him.  He offers a glass of wine and freshly bakes bread to us, extending an invitation to the abundant life.  He extends grace to anyone who comes to him.

When followers of Jesus act as grace-less people, it shows two things.  It rightly shows that we’re not sanctified yet, that we’re a work in progress.  But it also smears the grace of God.  Instead of pointing people to the grace found in Jesus, we point them to more ugliness in the world.  Seriously though, followers of Jesus are broken people who have received God’s incredible grace.

As grace-full people, followers of Jesus will have a deep awareness of their own brokenness, their own inclinations to sin.  Through our wounds and broken cracks, grace pours forth like light through a cracked door.  This message of grace is so desperately both in the Church and out. 

That, my friends, is why we need grace.

How do you battle being grace-less?

Photo: Tambako The Jaguar via Compfight