Law or Grace
by Julie Smith
21 August 2012« Previous Day
There are certain verses in the Bible that really inspire us, and for many of us I guess today’s verse is one of those. We’re inspired by the thought of being transformed day by day into the likeness of Jesus. Meditating on this verse recently, I looked up Spurgeon’s Devotional Notes, which say, ‘The Spirit of the Lord has brought us near to God … and given us to see the character of the Invisible God, and to become partakers of it’ which implies that the condition of this wonderful transformation in our lives is that we yield to the Holy Spirit’s enabling power and actively enter into or ‘partake of’ the character and nature of Jesus. I recognised that I love dwelling on the amazing character and nature of God – His grace, His mercy, His unfathomable love and care for us, and I love the idea of personally growing in His love and grace, but the problem is I’m not always so enthusiastic to yield to Him when He gives me a ‘grace opportunity’!
When a small injustice comes our way … perhaps we’re left to do someone else’s job, or it’s always us that has to put the chairs out for church or serve the coffee on Sunday morning, or someone else receives the credit for something we’ve done, we’re overlooked or undervalued or … the list could go on and on, because in reality, these things are part and parcel of everyday life for everyone of us … how do we respond?
The enemy’s way is legalism, and it’s very clear that many in the world have chosen his way of picking up on every injustice (big or small) and demanding their legal or ‘human rights’. We don’t always recognise it, but as Christians, our natural response too is to take the prideful stance of the law and complain, and if we shout loud enough and demand our rights, we might, in the world’s way, be heard and in some way ‘justified’.
But as I’ve been mulling this over with the Lord and He’s been convicting me of my own responses, I am asking Him to help me to recognise when I come up against the law, and to actively choose the way of grace. I’ve often asked for grace, but now I realise His grace is always there for me and what I need to ask for, is His help in actively receiving His grace. Primarily, of course, we need grace to forgive but we need to dig deeper into grace to enable us to view these niggling situations from a different perspective, the perspective that asks the question, ‘Father God, how do you want to use this to knock the rough edges off me … to do Your work of transforming me into the likeness of Your Son, Jesus?’
This is certainly not my natural response! But I do believe that as we choose His way over our own way, looking to Him, drawing our response from Him (partaking of Him), He is no man’s debtor and His desire is to use these everyday injustices and irritations to do His priceless work of change in us, transforming us more and more into the likeness of Jesus, which is surely what we all, as Christians, ultimately, long for.
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for the many times I have responded to situations legalistically, and please help me to look for opportunities in my life to truly grow in Your grace. Amen.
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