At LoveFirst Coast, we are all about equipping and encouraging people to live life on mission. Without an awareness of the depth of God’s grace extended to us, it is pretty much impossible to sustain an effective mission. How are you with grace? Are you aware of your own sin, of your own need for God, of your own inability to be the person you wish you could be?
It tends to be the “prodigals” who easily understand grace. Those who’ve hurt or rebelled against the people who loved them,who’ve wasted the best gifts of their lives in “wild living.” Those are the ones who readily appreciate grace and accept it gladly. It’s the “elder brother” types, those who’ve spent their lives trying to do everything right who have the hardest time accepting grace. They work hard. They try hard. They figure they have approval. So often, they can be acutely aware of the (sometimes imagined and exaggerated) shortcomings of the prodigal that they don’t even know how to acknowledge their own sin, failings, and limits that point to a deep need for grace.
God’s mission is grace oriented. If we don’t get grace, we can’t begin to understand God’s mission, let alone our part in it.
Pastor and author Tim Keller once said “The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” Which of those truths is harder for you to accept? Why do you think that’s the case?
Which can you identify with better – the prodigal or the elder brother? How hard is it for you to accept grace for yourself? How hard is it for you to show it to others?
With a deep and steady awareness of grace, it becomes possible for us to represent Jesus well. And the world around us needs that! This Sunday we’ll look at one of the best know stories in the Bible and consider how to respond. I hope you can be with us. Come and find some encouragement and equipping for life on mission this Sunday night at 6:45 in the St. Johns Room at FCC (3450 CR210, 32259).
What do you think God may be saying to you about his grace? What will you do about it?