Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Entitled to or Surprised by Grace...

So, if you're not real active class on Wednesday nights...well you miss out on some interesting discussions...(You're not going to Hell for not being there, you just miss out on some good growth time)

Tonight we started off the class using a clip from the tv show "Rules of Engagement" (all rights to CBS...) and the idea was that Jeff has just injured his back in a softball tournament...not playing, sneezing. Now this idea is all too familiar to me, that is, I all too often forget that my body is 33 and my mind is still 16 when it comes to sports. I'm still convinced that I can do things that my body can't...Anyone else? I'm just still convinced, and yes, sometimes impressed that I can still run a sub 4.6 40yd dash (and go home and discover I have the flu). I'm still somewhat impressed that I can still go out on a soccer field and do better than hold my own...but here's my question? Is that confidence translating to my faith? To our faith? Now, if you're not an athlete and you're a Brainiac, I think you may still have a problem. Both end at the same place somewhere down the line...Old guys bragging about what they "used to do" and young guys rolling their eyes in disbelief. I've been on both sides of the fence, and let me say. It is an awesome feeling to show up a "youngster" on the soccer field chasing down a ball and putting it in the net. It's even better when you hear "I've got the bald guy" and then thoroughly leave him wondering where he left his jock strap somewhere around midfield. You just can't beat the feeling.

Back to my point: Is this transferring into my faith? Am I relying on my "abilities" to do well rather than on my God to save the guy who deserves only to sit on the bench, (if that)? We discussed 4 different people in class tonight, Nicodemus(#1), the weeping woman at Jesus' feet (#2), the Pharisee who invited Jesus (#3), and The Rich Young Ruler (#4). I didn't plan on the RYR, but it played in well to the discussion...Each had their own "position" and their perception of earned position before God. I'm interested enough to hear what he has to say, but I have the safety net of all my teachings, but I'm going to go see what He has to say(#1), I'm a terrible person and all I can do is fall at His feet and hope (#2), I'm good enough to be here, let's see about Jesus (#3), Here's my list of successes and righteousness, what else God, I've completed that list?(#4)

It seems interesting to me that the people in these stories all came from different angles, similar backgrounds, but different angles...Each had, by human standards earned something, one earned punishment, the others a place in heaven...And so, when it comes time for your need of forgiveness...Let me ask this:

Will you be expecting Grace or will you be surprised by Grace? Here's the difference in position...One thinks that they have earned it because they were good enough, and the other is so dependent on it that they wouldn't know how to function without it!

God, forgive me when I've expected Grace to follow me...instead of being thankful for your continued surprises...I know You've promised it, but I don't want to demand something I don't deserve. I want to roll around in it and celebrate with people when I've received it...

I'm quite confident that the people in your churches who are angry, bitter, and manipulating are not the people who get this. They're quite assured of their place in eternity because of their righteousness...Let's just hope they don't get a "surprise" at the end! I'd much rather be surprised by Grace today than surprised by Hell at the end!

Alright God...You're on, surprise me! (with Grace please...) I promise I'll celebrate!


Jenn 4:20 PM  

I think that this question is so interesting! I have never thought about my identification with grace in that way. There is a new song out that says something similar about life, "Every new day is a gift not a given." I personally want to follow grace as it leads me into the next opportunity rather than grace following me into my mistakes.