We're Called To Chase After Grace, Why Aren't We Running Faster?
I spent this last Christmas with my fam bam in Idaho. That’s American for “the middle of nowhere.” Anyways. We were at a Christmas Eve service, of which was your usual holiday agenda. You know, hymn, hymn, reading, hymn, angels to shepherds, token manager animals, hymn, cue the choir with the matching red sweaters. The whole shebang.
The pastor was the grand finale, as all pastors are — I mean, they’re the ones running the show. He got up there and began what I assumed would be the reader’s digest version of our Savior entering the world (small children were getting antsy), but instead, he began a conversation that has stuck with me to this day.
He asked the congregation if we were chasing after grace.
Holding up a decorative present he had swiped from under the tree on stage, he broke down his question. We all knew the box was there. We could easily assume it would stay there when we went on to eat dinner with our families. We could probably come back the next day and have the decorations, presents included, still sitting where they had been left. He asked us how often we do that with grace.
As believers, we know it’s there. We’re confident in that. Our entire salvation depends on the faith we have in that grace.
But do we chase it? Do we actively pursue this concept that has turned our gloom and doom into eternity with the King? Or do we go eat dinner, take a nap, and come back to it when we decide we really need it?
That stuck with me. Maybe it was the way he phrased it or the visual that had been painted in my brain. But now I often find myself asking how I treat the concept of grace.
Romans 3 is a chapter I'm sure you're all familiar with. It's a classic portion of the Romans road, a staple VBS passage.
Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
But we too often stop there, when verse 24 really hits the nail on the head: "and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ."
If this impacts your life on any level, and I truly hope it does, we are called as children of God to be a witness of it, to put it before us and chase it.
You know how so many people tell newlyweds to still date after they're married? Every time someone gets engaged I hear old men telling new hubbies-to-be to still pursue their bride, not because they don't have her, but because that's what you do when you value something.
I guess the question we must answer first is: Do you value grace?
If yes, OK, then start acting like it (wow, I sound like my mother). If you answered no, it may be time for some reflection as to why.
Ephesians 2:8 says: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not of yourselves, it is a gift from God."
The gospel is grace.
Full disclaimer, this is the part of the blog post that I took a break. I had a pie to bake for National Pie Day, and I wasn't quite sure how to drive this home. It's a topic that is SO IMPORTANT, and the right words just weren't coming.
Aimlessly scrolling through Twitter while I smelled my delightful pie in the oven, I came across this:
THAT! THOSE WORDS! YES!
And the blog post break was over.
If we are chasing after grace -- if we are so amped up about it that we just have to pursue it with every fiber of our being -- we use it as our guide EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
This means thinking twice before you snap at someone.
This means giving second chances because we're all just humans, and we all need forgiveness.
This means remembering the big picture, remembering what's important and letting go of what isn't.
This means selflessness.
This means open, brave testimony.
This means pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone because the world doesn't revolve around you.
This means being thankful for what the Lord has given you, and praising Him for it.
This means CHASING the single most important concept in your life.
The fact of the matter is, none of us will ever catch grace. We'll never have run hard enough to grab it, hold a trophy up, and win the whole thing. But, what we can look forward to?
"Well done, my good and faithful servant."
I encourage you to wake up tomorrow and instantly praise Him for grace. Go throughout your day exemplifying it. Live out grace, as grace has given you life.