Deeper Grace

Today I have had one profound thought: the Gospel is everything and without the Gospel we have nothing.

What has brought on this thought? Today was staff planning day and it was very successful. I saw God work today and the Spirit move.

Later something kept nagging at me. I felt that something I had said or done was more selfish than I realized at the time. During one of our question and prayer times, God led me to a passage of scripture in Jeremiah 7.

I don’t think I had ever read this passage before, but it really resonated with me it read:

23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. 24 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. 25 From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. 26 But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their ancestors.’

27 “When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. 28 Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.

After reading this passage I looked to God and had this feeling that I was going through exactly what Jeremiah was going through. I mean I was teaching, proclaiming Christ, and trying to obey God and no one seems to listen. I am constantly evaluating and measuring programs and worship services without much time to take root. I was trying to harvest the garden and before even scattering the seed. I felt that people had hardened hearts and closed minds, well or so I thought.

Later, God brought something to my attention. I was judging the work God is doing and I had no right! Absolutely no right! I was not giving God the very same grace and time that he extends to me.

I was trying to judge the work of the architects blue prints, while I’m just the guy hitting my fingers with a hammer.

I had missed the very point I’m so passionate about.

We must go deeper into the Gospel.

I can’t ever hope to make a ripple in a pond if I’m unwilling to jump in and trust by the grace of God the pond isn’t 3 feet deep and break my neck.

The Gospel of Gods grace is everything. I must be willing to extend it even when I don’t think it’s merited. True depth in the Gospel takes us from simply not being ticked off at the guy in the drive thru window from getting our order wrong, to loving someone through encouragement and not tearing them down. in spite of their inadequecies that directly afftect our attitudes, personal preferences, and emotions  (I.e worship, preaching, church culture), and seeing Gods beautiful gifted creation instead.

As a minister, I must be willing to extend this grace and not allow my critical mind to overshadow the true beauty of the Gospel.

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