But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. Revelation 2:14-16 (NKJV)
There is very little doubt in most people’s minds that our nation is in serious trouble on any number of levels. The church has been ineffective in turning this country towards righteousness and holiness. We have been told we must be “tolerant” of those whom God has said sin. I would posit that, as the body of Christ, we have actually become “nicer than God.” We have tolerated those things which God has said, in His Word, He hates. The result is that evil has proliferated until it fills this nation.
I read recently in a blog post the following statement: “We are infatuated with God’s grace, but we are not transformed by God’s grace.” (Unfortunately this isn’t an exact quote as I can’t find the post I read it in. If one of my readers knows the originator of this statement, please leave me a comment so that I can give proper credit for this profound observation.)
The grace of God is not a free pass to live life as we please or as we choose. The power inherent in God’s grace is earth-shattering, life-changing, and all-encompassing. God extends His matchless grace to the humble and repentant.
God’s grace transforms; it does not coddle.
If we continue to live unrepentant lives, tolerating behavior we should not (in ourselves and in others), then God’s grace has not transformed us at all. If we fill our increasingly empty lives with more stuff, more activity, more vanity, then God’s grace has not transformed us. If we focus so much on grace that we have forgotten the other aspects of God’s nature and character, then God’s grace has not transformed us.
And the reality of God’s presence and power will continue to remain far from us.
Copyright © 2012 by Susan E. Johnson
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