Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Access to Grace

Tomorrow begins the 40 day journey of Lent,
a season of approaching the 
greatest act of love 
bestowed upon humankind, 
Jesus' atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world.  

Lent is a season of remembering.

If we fail to remember, we can somehow begin to consider ourselves worthy of God's grace.

There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.   ROMANS 3:22b-25a

While grace is a free gift of God to those who receive it by faith, it is not free to the giver!

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  ROMANS 5:1-8

Remembering cultivates a deep appreciation of the love God has for me... for you... for humanity...

Remembering prompts me to kindness when hard-heartedness is my natural response.
Remembering generates forgiveness and peace-making with retribution is deserved.

Remembering calls me to live out the holy calling God has upon my life.  
This is Mission, Jesus style!

Remembering helps me appreciate that God's gift of grace wasn't fair, 
it was love!

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