The grace of God. I know that my life would have no hope or light without it. I know that His grace to me in Jesus Christ is the foundation my life is built on. Grace for daily life, for salvation and sanctification is His gift, freely given.
It's also what often seems is most lacking in my church.
How can I be a conduit of His grace?
What can I do? Sometimes I feel like protesting - I'm only one person, after all. How can I convey the absolute vitality, the centrality of Grace in our lives as Christians, how can I get across this Grace that I am so utterly dependent upon, so constantly aware of and grateful for...
I don't want to cause confusion or argument by teaching too much that is radically different from what they've been taught for years. I don't want to seem to set myself up as “The Spiritual One.” I don't want a “grace revolution” on my hands here, even if it were possible – which I doubt.
I'm here to serve these people, not divide them.
Still, when works/performance/'doing my part' is such a pervasive focus, how can I best re-direct the attention of these people I love to Christ as the only source of life and righteousness? “The apostle Paul argues that Christian righteousness is a righteousness of Christ living in us, and not our own righteousness. However, Christ and my conscience must merge so that in my field of view there is nothing left but the Crucified and Risen Christ.
For if Christ is pushed aside, and I look only to myself, then I am finished - because this thought immediately springs to mind: 'Christ is in heaven, and you are upon the earth. How are you ever going to reach Him?' and the answer is thus: 'I will lead a holy life and do what the Law requires, and so will eventually attain eternal life.'
"Centering ones attention on oneself and determining what condition I am in and what I must do, I lose sight of Christ, who alone is my Righteousness and my Life.
"Without Him there is no help, no counsel, but only despair and destruction.
"This evil is very common, because such is human weakness that in time of temptation or in the face of death, we will immediately abandon Christ and turn again to our own works.” (Martin Luther)
Lord, I desperately need your grace, more than anything else, as I attempt to bring more grace, more understanding and compassion into our interactions with one another as your children here in this place.