Monday, March 7, 2011

grace strength

By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.
1 Peter 5:12

Peter calls everything that he has written in this epistle "the true grace of God". His final appeal is to "stand firm in it". That is the great purpose of Christian living: to stand firmly in the grace of God. I find it incredibly motivating as an encouragement for serious Christian commitments.

I easily succumb to temptations to pander to selfishness and ease. It is part of my sinful, self-focused, sinful nature. But when I align my thoughts and attitudes with teachings such as this one, I am challenged to live differently. And it is not easily done. It is quite humbling to let the "true grace of God" lead me. It means admitting that God can use whatever He wants to get me there.

I have had a month like that recently. I have seen my failings in quite a few areas. They have not been pretty to look at, but I know that the Holy Spirit has used them to move me. I have taken a lot of my Christianity for granted, thinking that coasting on doctrinal knowledge would get me through. But I have seen where that has done damage to key areas. Christian worldview has to end in Christian lifestyle. And it has to be more than what I have shown, especially in key areas of my life.

I have got to break out of the normal Christian culture bubble to know this. And I think God is showing me ways to stand firm in His grace. But I will have to make some serious changes with how I live, who I share this life with, and where I spend my time, energy, and ministry opportunity. And it is not going to be easy to say and do it. But already a strength from this grace is fortifying my inward man for what must be done. And what must be done will be filled with the grace of God, which from my experience, is always a fantastically good thing!

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

No comments: