Truth and Grace

Jesus was invited by a Pharisee to dinner and proceeds to unleash His judgment toward the Pharisees upon them during the meal. In the middle of this lashing, one of the experts in the law says, “‘Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.” (Luke 11:45) Yet, nothing changes in Jesus’ confrontational approach.

It’s an interesting situation. I wonder if the Pharisee that extended the invitation hoped to win Jesus over to their side? Obviously Jesus was seen as powerful and influential… let’s be sure He’s FOR us! But, Jesus doesn’t play along. He doesn’t complement them because it’s the best meal conversation. He is Grace, but let’s not forget, he is also absolute Truth.

We so desperately need God’s help to be both graceful and truthful. We can often see the benefits of grace and may work hard on modeling it. But often we can get off track and only later realize we are merely

accepting everything our friend wants to do

or condoning things we know aren’t right.

We don’t want to muddy the waters of truth.

Yes, Jesus absolutely loves every one of us, no matter what. And He is perfect, sinless truth too. He died on the cross so we can be reunited with God. But He never gives His blessing to our plans to keep just a few small idols in the closet or slightly modify a commandment. There is a line we are not to cross. God is holy. Perfect, Always right. Unchanging. All-powerful. Righteous.

Jesus draws people to himself and makes us more like Him. It doesn’t work the other way around! He helps us desire to be righteous and obedient. He is 100% Grace and 100% Truth. Love and holy fire. We can’t have just one side of Him. We get both. He is always the God to be feared and revered. He is love but we would still perish in God’s direct presence.

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2 thoughts on “Truth and Grace

  1. Amen sister! This IS MY PERSONAL BATTLE EVERY DAY! As an artist I am typically in the company of others who have alternative lifestyles and do not know the salvation of Christ. I so easily relate to their creative spirits and often adore them in spite of our spiritual differences. I do my best to “love the sinner, not the sin “, BUT I whole- heartedly believe that when we accept those “sins” as part of our beloveds, we may never see them in Heaven, and will have to explain to our precious savior why we did not love them enough to share His Truth. I have learned that it is not my responsibility to “cure” anyone of their sinful ways (I struggle daily to get my own path straight!) but rather to trust the holy spirit to do the work. However, I can use the gifts that God has given me, to serve others, as a way to build precious relationships that lead to trust, and hopefully, a softening to the holy spirit and God’s call. Our gifts are given to us not for our own purposes, but for the glory of God, and ultimately (in my opinion) to help gather together our “forever family” in Christ. I am in absolute AWE of God’s servants such as Esther and Daniel who are recorded in the Bible as having serious impact on their pagan Masters. These Masters “adored”/respected these very faithful Jewish servants, in spite of having serious conflicts in theology. It is AMAZING to me that in spite of their daily worship and expression of their Faith (Daniel/Joseph) that they were still highly revered rather than immediately killed. My husband thinks that these faithful followers of Jehovah (like Daniel and Joseph) made their Masters very wealthy and therefore found much favor. This is no doubt true, BUT I also believe it had to be much more. For Daniel’s Master King Darius the Mede to say, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” just before putting him the Lion’s den (because he would not worship only the King for 30 days straight), that speaks volumes of his respect for Daniel! And that was the 3rd pagan king that Daniel had served (and won over) while in captivity! WOW. I have much to learn from Daniel, and Joseph, and Esther, and many more. One thing does stand out however, in each of these cases, these servants of our holy God had to go through much hardship: abduction, trauma, torture and abuse, etc. Serving God in a fallen world ALWAYS comes with sacrifice. Let’s not forget for every example of a miraculous intervention (like Daniel in the Den, or Meshach, Shadrach, and Abendigo in the fire) there are examples of faithful followers like Peter, being crucified (upside down) NOT saved for future time on Earth. Everyday we have to TRUST, and be willing to WALK INTO THE FIRE, not knowing if we will “make it out”. To love our Lord above all else requires us to be “All IN”, regardless of the cost. This is the difficult task of being 100% GRACE and TRUTH, and why we MUST be in constant prayer for one another. Our loving God never expects us to do this alone. We need each other to lean on and to encourage, AND we need the holy spirit always, for redirection and strength. I am so blessed he has given me you Pam! Praise His glorious name…..

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