Wow, do we ever complicate the truth about grace. I just finished reading ALL IS GRACE: A RAGAMUFFIN MEMOIR by Brennan Manning. It was the last book he wrote before he passed away. I think I have mentioned him once in my blogs. That is because the truth of the gospel hits me between the eyes when I read his books….A RAGAMUFFIN GOSPEL, RUTHLESS TRUST, ABBA’S CHILD, THE RELENTLESS TENDERNESS OF JESUS and many more.
We as parents are so concerned in raising our children in the way of the Lord. We take them to church every time the doors open, talk Bible and scripture, and sometimes unknowingly have an expectation of perfection. When we should have been teaching constantly about the unconditional love of Jesus and truth of grace, we were teaching rules and regulations. And I am pointing the finger at me as a parent.
Oh, our hearts were in the right place…and later on I myself got the grace message and taught it, but oh, how I wish I had it down deep in my heart before that! I would teach, show and exemplify the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. I would extend grace to others as He extended to me.
While under legalism, the rules and regulations have a way of catching up with you! We cannot maintain the law! It is impossible. Then the cycle begins….obey, fail, guilt, start again….try and obey, fail, guilt, start again….and on. Many times we believe God could never love us after that “sin”, so we just give up. We fail. We do not deserve the love of God!
But the truth of grace is simple. Not that what Christ did was simple…He sacrificed more than we will ever understand. But His extension of grace to us is about Him, not our ability to get to HIM by all the “good” or “right” things we do! Grace is “something we don’t deserve, unmerited favor.”
Brennan Manning says: “God loves you unconditionally, as you are and not as you should be, because nobody is as they should be.”
His grace is contingent upon me being as good as I can be. Truth.
THAT, my friends, in my humble opinion is what we should be teaching our children. Theology is great, scripture memorization is awesome, even those called to apologetics is something to behold…but if I have not an understanding of unconditional love and the truth of grace, what do I have?
Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
IN CHRIST ALONE
*google image, NIV*