Friday, March 07, 2014
A Picture of Grace
No. It's not a post-it.
It's a mental picture, it's a symbol, it's something like what i want you to see when i say, "Grace."
Where do you think you are in the picture? If this is a picture of faith and the christian life, who are you?
i'll give you a hint, Christ has said we would share his throne with him. That means, it's HIS throne. We're just sitting there with him. Christ has said, HIS yoke is easy and HIS burden is light. That means it's HIS. We're just there with him. God is going to do what He is going to do. In fact, He is always working, always accomplishing His story. We have been invited into it! We are joining him on HIS mission. But we always want to co-opt the story. Make it about us. Which also, inevitably, makes it up to us. Paul warned us not to be unequally yoked and we usually apply that to marriage but he never says that. It doesn't NOT say that, that's just not all it says. It means the same thing God meant when he set his people apart and told them not to mingle with the nations around them, don't adopt their customs, don't pick up their ways, don't pick up their gods. Marriage is just one of the ways we open up Pandora's box. Satan wants you at war, worn down and worn out. His is the world system.
What exactly are you saying, Scruff? What's it got to do with this picture? Glad you asked! Okay, let's say you are Rascal there, you got your sandals on your feet, your smooth, fresh crew cut, your bright, clean shirt and you are ready for the world! If you do things the world's way, you would pick up a shovel and start digging. You would soon see what the curse in Genesis three was about and why man invent excavators and why everyone who digs in Pennslobovia curses the ground. And oh, by the way, you are six years old. You ain't too strong, ya dig?
Okay, well, let's say, Rascal becomes a Christian, Jesus makes him a son of God. God invites him to come and sit on his lap. Come, see what i see, m'boy. Come, join me in my work, my burden is light. Come, be with me. Hang on and enjoy the ride, the Father says. Well, Rascal is all like, Heck yeah! And he jumps up and everything's cool for a while but Rascal has read all these "DO" verses in the Bible and he's heard all those sermons about answering your calling and he's read Footprints and he's heard his whole life, "God helps those that help themselves." So Rascal realizes, crap! I've got to do something or God's gonna kick me off his lap! So he grabs the sticks and starts trying to operate the machine. Just a reminder, he's six. How well do you think that's gonna go? What happened?
Rascal forgot what the point was. The point is not the work. The point is not to earn your place on the lap or deserve to keep it. The point is not to dig for gold or clean water sources. The point was to BE WITH DAD. The reward, the better portion, the inheritance is the Father himself! To share in his joy. To share in His suffering. What happens to Him happens to you but you do it together! If Rascal would rather play video games, he loses the Father. He loses the joy of seeing the work complete. He loses the Father's joy in him. He loses relationship. If Rascal thinks it's about what he does, about performance, about saving the world, he forgets whose lap he's on. He loses the Father. He turns the work into work. Which as we know, eventually becomes drudgery, slavery and finally death. Or he fears because he cannot accomplish it, doesn't have the strength, the competency. He fails God! Well, i got two reassuring bits of news for ya:
1. You DON'T have the strength or competency.
and 2. God already knows that.
Moses at the Burning Bush keeps giving God reasons why Moses cannot go to Pharaoh and do what God said God was going to do. Moses didn't have to do much of anything! God promised to speak for him, to perform the signs, told him the outcome, said He'd be with him all the way... all he had to do was take a walk, all he had to do was...the same thing you have to do in your struggling marriage, your sickness, your loved one's sickness, your grieving, your impossible task, your wayward child, your job, your church, your relationships, your calling, your LIFE...
take the hand Jesus is offering you, jump up on God's throne with him and enjoy the ride.