Do you remember the day you heard of the grace of Jesus Christ the first time? Do you remember the day when you felt the conviction of the sinful life you lived, and the beautiful exchange of peace when you accepted that grace?
So many of us remember it happened, but we can forget how it felt. We can forget the thirst we had for it. We can forget how much we didn’t deserve it. And how much we need it now.
Many of us that receive grace are easily tempted into a life of getting ourselves together. Working to keep grace. Not recalling that we didn’t do anything to earn it.
This was something Paul saw in one of the apostles. You see the church in Galatia had fallen for another gospel. Paul was writing to them to ask them who had bewitched them.
He explains that there is no other gospel but Christ crucified and that if anyone should preach anything else to them that they would be cursed.
Paul was called to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. Peter was called to preach the gospel to the Jews. And when Paul and Peter were together Peter fell in among the Gentiles naturally.
However when some others who were Jews came to Antioch Peter stopped associating with the Gentiles. So Paul confronted Him.
Hover here to read Galatians 2:11-16.
We can fall into the same trap when we change our behavior because our Christian brothers and sisters don’t approve of relationships with sinners.
Jesus ate with sinners, and the most despised. He ministered to them right where they were. He did speak to them about how His father wanted them to live, but not in Christianese. He spoke their language, with love- filled, grace-filled words. He spoke through his living. After all He was the Word.
We as Christians must remember we are defined by a certain Who and not by what we do. Righteous only by grace through faith in Jesus as our Savior.
As we approach those in the world who need that same grace we can’t bring them some other perfect plan to better themselves. Show up at the dinner party with a set of standards. It never worked for us. It will not work for them and they know it. We are called into All.The.World. to offer grace not another to do list.
Have you been bewitched?
Are you living as if what you do earns favor with God? How can you be an effective witness if you either look down on the world you are called into, or deny grace by your own works?
Lets trade in our God complex over self and others, and choose our identity in who Christ is. Then we can receive grace, live in it, and have God’s loving perspective of every man, woman, and child in need. Seeing only a desperate world that needs saving every day.