Some of the favorite things most folks like about Leadership Magazine are the cartoons. One I especially remember shows two guys visiting about church over a table at a restaurant. They're sharing a cup of coffee as they visit. One guy smugly shares the following:
Our church's distinctive is to be a church of grace. If anyone can't adhere to that, we simply ask that person to leave.*
Like the cartoon, when I discovered grace I misunderstood. Truth is, I was pretty legalistic about grace. You had to believe what I believed and had to express it the way I expressed it. I was so full of grace in my head I had not much room for it in my heart!
The test of grace is not only what you believe. It is not just about how you behave. Grace gets to both for sure. But grace gets also to how you belong and an open invitation to other people to be in the right place with God. And before I can share it I really need to accept it.
You've heard things like this before:
- Grace does not look the other way at sin, it looks directly to God.
- Grace is not exclusive, it is inclusive.
- Grace is not for me and mine alone, it is for you and yours and all of us.
- Grace is God's Riches At Christ's Expense
Let me add one that seems right for me today:
Grace is not a secret I have discovered, it is God's truth for all ages and He has included even me!
* From "The Best Cartoons from Leadership Journal," Volume 1. This is definitely worth having in your library for those "rainy days" of ministry and life!