August 11, 2017
“Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.” Romans 2:4 The Message
Everybody wants to change something about their life. Why? Because there is that ever seducing thought or image that if I could change “this” .. then my life would be better. You may have even tried to and succeeded in changing something about your life and it did indeed become better. But it can never become whole in God’s eyes unless Jesus life invades and infiltrates every corner of your life. He steps into your past. He works with all the pieces of your present life. And the future..? He’s written it all down for anyone to see: Your life will bear a strong family likeness to Jesus and freedom from anything unlike Him. That is the life God wants you to live out of … the life of Christ abiding in you. Whenever you try to direct anything in a direction not clearly rooted in Christ .. you begin to feel the weight. It’s a weight that the Father doesn’t want you to carry but will let you. Why? Because He knows that the real changes in your life occur when you encounter His kindness. It’s radical kindness. It’s not found on this earth apart from Christ. It’s so severe that you’ll resist it to the very end until you completely turn over your life to His kindness. You think it is soft .. overlooking .. and even accepting of your disqualifying flaws? Hardly. God’s kindness always frees you from religious rules that constantly make you the center figure. You already know where that leads: Real change .. real trust .. and real conviction are found in God’s grace and that grace is God’s primary and ultimate gift in Christ. You can’t find it anywhere else so freely .. so over the top .. and so deeply personal. It may look different on someone else but on close examination you see the evidence of nail scarred hands working another life into Christ’s whole-ness. Jesus isn’t going to by-pass or overlook one area of your life next to His. You are His .. He is in you .. and He wants you to live like it in everything. It only takes a moment ..
” I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.” Philippians 3:9 The Message
Ken Chester: Grace-Gripped is sent to Overturned and Overwhelmed Lives following Jesus. (firstname.lastname@example.org)