Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Why "Truth and Grace?"

Writing assumes that you have something worthwhile to say and so always involves the potential for pride in one's own work ... at least that's what I've been told.  Today's technology makes it possible to communicate almost instantly with a broad audience of readers who may or may not agree with or benefit from what is being written.  Indeed, if what I or anyone else shares are simply our own thoughts, ideas or, as some call them, "musings," then why should anyone else care in the least what we "think"?  All of this to say that the challenge of writing, particularly, the challenge of writing about spiritual things ... about eternal matters ... is to speak TRUTH and to do so in a way that exhibits and reveals the GRACE of God at all times.  In other words, truth, if it is from God's Word, must always point to Jesus Christ, the very embodiment of truth; and in doing so, truth will always point to the possibility of grace ... of the undeserved offer of God's love, presence and power to overcome the effects and consequences of sin and rebellion in our lives.  John 1:14 says that Jesus "came from the Father, full of grace and truth."  In our sinful condition, we are born in sin and our natural tendency is to deceive and to be deceived ... unless or until we are confronted with TRUTH!  Then, and only then, can we or will we embrace the marvelous grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ.  While grace itself is God's gift in sending the truth to us, our experience of grace begins with truth.  Without hearing the truth we will never come to an understanding of God's grace.

Thus, the title of my blog:  "Truth and Grace."  It is my continued desire and prayer to be used of God to point people to the grace that I myself so desperately need.  With the Apostle Paul I can and must say that apart from God's grace to me my life would be empty, meaningless and without hope.  Why God has chosen to make me one of His children, let alone one of His spokesmen in the world today I cannot say except that it is His desire to use weak vessels to bring Himself glory.  If you are a believer in Christ Jesus the same is true for you.  When Moses was speaking to the people of Israel and explaining to them that God had chosen them out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, His "treasured possession" (Deuteronomy 7:6), he was quick to tell them that "the LORD did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples" (7:7).  In other words, there was nothing in you that motivated God to choose YOU as His treasured possession!  Then Moses goes on to say in verse 8:  "BUT, it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath He swore to your forefathers that He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery. ...  know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands" (vs.9).

"It was because the LORD loved you!"  That's truth ... and that's grace!  As God allows, I will attempt to share HIS truth with you, encouraging you to read His Word, to accept it as truth and to receive His grace in Christ Jesus as His Spirit works through His Word within you.  I will seek to respond to questions or comments, offering so much as possible not my opinions or ideas, but God's truth as the answer to your questions and mine, and His grace as the solution to your needs and mine.  I look forward to sharing God's truth with you and to growing together in the grace and knowledge of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18).

In Christ's love,

Pastor Steve