Last time I shared the story of Judas and how he knew he had done wrong but saw no way out. He was living under the law still. This is bizarre to me as he had not only followed Jesus for three years but was His treasurer and even ministered to people. His story and demise show what trap we can fall into if we live by a bunch of rules. Don’t get me wrong rules are good as they show us right from wrong. However, a much better way is not having to do the right thing but wanting to do the right thing.
One of the issues in society that always makes me chuckle is the issue of speeding – driving our cars too fast. The speed limits are there for our protection as well as others in case something happens. However, most times when it is reported on, it is not about how many lives are being saved and the good about speed limits but always about the negative. For example, getting a speeding fine is just a way of raising revenue for the government. Hang on, if people didn’t speed, they wouldn’t raise any revenue. But that’s what Satan does to us to get us to live under the law. He points out the bad stuff about following God but not all the good stuff. Law leads to condemnation, grace leads to freedom.
If we obeyed the law because we wanted to, we would be living in freedom. Nobody would be taking our money and we wouldn’t fear getting caught. Grace is all about relationship with God. We want to follow God, we want to talk to Him and read the Bible – not because we have to but because we want to. Because of this, we live under a higher law. One that tells us to do all in love and not in fear. Grace is us loving, the law is us fearing.
Let’s look at the example of Peter. He also sinned the night Jesus was arrested. Peter denied that he even knew Jesus three times because of fear. However, because of relationship with Jesus, Peter went out and wept bitterly. God looked at his heart and knew he was truly repentant. A little while after Jesus rose from the dead, Jesus was on a beach in John 21 looking at the disciples who had gone back to their previous life with no success. In three questions Jesus restored the three times Peter had denied Him. That’s grace – no condemnation, only restoration.
As I said before, grace is a higher calling than law. Law can only go so far to tell us right from wrong but with Jesus living in us, grace demands that our actions, attitudes and words are based on love. The law says don’t commit adultery – grace says don’t even think about it because if you love someone, you wouldn’t treat them that way. A higher calling and one that seems impossible.
How do we stay in the grace of God? By keeping a pure heart – one that is quick to repent of all sin. Don’t let pride get in the way, that’s the law holding you back.
This week, search your heart with the help of the Holy Spirit. Repent of anything that is causing or has caused you not to show God’s love (agape) to someone. Then get up, know your forgiven and move forward. You have a plan and a purpose to fulfil. You can do it on God. Bless you heaps and keep living the life God intended for you!