“Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” Hebrews 12:15 (NLT)
“In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25). I think that if we were to drop off the part that says, “In those days Israel had no king” and plugged in something that sounds more like today, it may go like this: “In these days ‘Murica don’t need no king” we still could pull off the “all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” and it would be just as relevant. When we read into The Book of Judges we can see that social order breaks down constantly and YHVH must step in constantly to bring order. Everyone, for the most part, is flat out violating the basic ten laws that were given to them.
I mean, can you really find anything wrong with YHVH’s Ten Commandments? If you have time, you can turn to Exodus 20 and reread them for yourself, but for today I would just like to point out that if ‘Murica actually did obey them, there would be no crime throughout the entire nation. I guess the police, judges, and criminal lawyers may have to find a new line of work, but for the most part stuff like vanity, jealousy, fear, greed, and hatred would be non-existent. And since Jesus equated all these things with murder when He gave the Sermon on the Mount, that too gets eradicated. Anyway, why do we find ourselves in such a state of disorder these days? Why is it the everyday norm to misbehave? Well I guess it’s because no one wants to stand in the mirror of the Ten Commandments and feel uncomfortable…just a guess.
Furthermore, what is it that would keep a mighty God, the author of these commandments, from enacting punishment on a bunch of disobedient knuckleheads? That would be a one-word answer…grace. Okay that sounds nice, kind, good, and gentle… but what is this grace? Well what it may not totally be is “the state of a Christian who is living for God.” This means they are living a good life but if that life is constrained by the guidelines of their own particular part of society then it’s just living a good life and anyone can that if they so choose. God’s grace is a divine mercy we get beyond forgiveness. It seems to go one step further to blessing. Check this out…
In Max Lucado’s book simply titled “Grace” he puts it like this, “Grace goes beyond mercy. Mercy gave Ruth some food. Grace gave her a husband and a home. Mercy gave the prodigal son a second chance. Grace threw him a party. Mercy prompted the Samaritan to bandage the wounds of the victim. Grace prompted him to leave his credit card as a payment for the victim’s care. Mercy forgave the thief on the Cross. Grace escorted him into paradise. Mercy pardons us. Grace woos and weds us.”
Another thing I could say that grace is not is permission. “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of His wonderful grace?” (Romans 6:1). Ya know, if this wasn’t a rhetorical question, I almost wanna say this is the stupidest question ever to ask but it had to be examined. Why? Well if you look at what the false teachers were urging new believers to do at the church in Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29), you would agree. They were basically being told that they could practice their age-old customs in the temples and that God would bless those activities. CERTAINLY NOT…DUH!
For me, to say, we are not under the law but under grace, which means I serve a God that is gonna go beyond just the answering of my most desperate prayers. I just gotta do my part and not think it’s okay to do some of that old stuff I use to do…I shouldn’t even entertain the thought of it. Why? “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” (Romans 6:14) It’s the living under the freedom of God’s grace that should make me not wanna be holding on to vanity, jealousy, fear, greed and hatred. If they aren’t in my hands to hold then those hands are available to the will of The Most-High God and that makes receiving the grace of God all the more valuable than what this world has to offer for just living a good life. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003), is married to his wife Kathy, has two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace—only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” — Anne Lamott
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:12