My eyes have been opened. My mind has been altered. My heart has been turned. I don't want to go back...
I want to keep turning toward this "grace". I want to embrace it and not continually try to keep it in "check" with law. It is that great. It is that freeing.
Have your eyes been opened to the joy and freedom that God intended for us through grace?
photo credit: Rickydavid
I studied "Becoming a Woman of Grace" by Cynthia Heald and the words slowly tapped at the years of performance-based love. However, I just couldn't grasp the grace she described. I read all the scripture on the old covenant and the new covenant and salvation...it was starting to feel real. Yet, with every chapter I was torn between personal application and parental application. Am I parenting with grace?
Then I was given the opportunity to read the book "Give Them Grace" by Elyse Fitzpatrick...and it all came together. For some reason thinking about grace with my children allowed me to see my relationship with my Heavenly Father in a new way.
I have been working so, so, so hard to EARN His love.
But I had it backward. "For God so loved the world..." He loved me FIRST.
Before I was born He loved me. Before I existed He had given me a gift. I just had to accept that gift.
THEN out of my love for Him I would long to serve Him, to spend time with Him, to praise Him.
The law exists not for us to obtain righteousness..."because we cannot obey it. Although the law demands perfection in only two areas (love your God with all your heart, soul, mind and love your neighbor as yourself), none of us, no, none of us fully complies." (E. Fitzpatrick)
We are commanded to teach our children the law...but not because it will make them good. The law won't make them good! It will make them realize that they can NEVER be good enough and have them seek out the love, sacrifice and welcome of their Savior ("Give Them Grace")
There was only one who walked on this world who was good. "Christ was the only one who ever deserved to hear, "You are good" but he relinquished his right relationship with the law and his Father and suffered as a lawbreaker" (E. Fitzpatrick).
We teach our children obedience (initial, social, civic, religious obedience) but that differs from righteousness. "Christian righteousness...is a goodness to us by God out of his sheer generosity and mercy and rests squarely on the obedience and sacrifice of Jesus Christ alone." (E. Fitzpatrick)
photo credit: Kliefi
Do you feel the freedom already?
YOU CANNOT ACHIEVE GOODNESS ON YOUR OWN! stop trying.
If you need your eyes open to Amazing Grace, I would suggest either of the two books I mentioned. I would also suggest reading these posts by Emily Freeman of "Chatting at the Sky" (she is at the incourage website this week). Her book "Grace for the Good Girl" is being released on September 1st (I know I'm going to buy a copy!). I also read a great post on grace and how Jesus viewed being associated with evil. Check it out here..."grace runs."
**I am linking up with Thought-Provoking Thursdays...check out other thought provoking posts here: http://somegirlswebsite.com/showing-love/2011/08/a-heart-to-heart-with-god/