24 May 2016
Reading: 1 Kings 9; 2 Chronicles 8; Psalm 136; Romans 5
All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. (Romans 5:20 MSG)
When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins! God’s grace is not a passive willingness to grudgingly forgive someone who comes crawling into his office and begs for mercy. God’s grace is an aggressive, persevering forgiveness that seeks out the sinner, lovingly presents the offer of reconciliation, and then relentlessly follows the wayward one, singing a love song. God’s grace is an aggressive love that sees a need and passionately pursues the needy person.
The aggressive forgiveness we call grace is seen in:
• The unwillingness of a parent to give up on a wayward, rebellious son or daughter.
• The unwillingness of a husband or wife to give up on their marriage.
• The unwillingness of a friend to let a relationship wither and die or bitterness develop when there has been hurt or offense.
• The unwillingness of a small group leader to simply let an individual or a couple drift away when they’re struggling with life and faith.
• The unwillingness of a church to settle into a religious mode that excludes people who are far from God.
• The unwillingness of a church to ignore people with hurts, habits, and hang-ups.
• The unwillingness of Christ-followers to ignore the needs of homeless and under-resourced people in the community.
• The unwillingness of the church to ignore the issues of compassion, mercy, and justice around the world.
God’s Grace is passionate, aggressive, and relentless. Grace Wins!
Father, Please help me not to lose the clarity I see this morning about grace. I want to be a grace-giver—not just passively waiting for someone to drop by, but actively and aggressively extending love, acceptance, and forgiveness. Please develop in me the quality of passionate, aggressive, and relentless grace. I want to see grace win!