The grace of the Triune God of the Universe for us is not an excuse to accept sin, but the very reason we have to desire more of Him in the life of others, because we have seen it taking root in our own heart.
It was a Summer camp, up in the mountains of NE, back in 1981. That’s where Jehovah found me. And it was surprising, for many reasons. The biggest was His grace.
The Gospel, turned out, was unexpectedly simple.
And over all these years, the LORD has decided to bestow on me blessing upon blessing. I am the minister of the Gospel that I am, today, because of all the investment others, motivated by Him, have done in me.
It’s not only the external blessings He seems to be pleased in giving me that have molded me. I have also seen how His grace moves wider and deeper in my own heart. I am not the person I was. To my surprise – and hopefully to the surprise of those around me – I resemble God the Son in His humanity.
That is His doing, not mine.
But I’m still here. I cannot escape myself. Often, I find myself falling into the gravitational pull of my own cultural preferences. This is particularly true when the time comes to decide how the Gospel should look like in the life of others.
This expression of my pride (a.k.a. idolatry) has two particular manifestations; I either demand from others what God is not demanding from them, or I give and accept excuses for the lack of holiness in our lives.
Two extremes of the same problem: His grace is not longer my motivation.
That’s why we must remember His grace for us… constantly. We must pay close attention to the results of His work in us. They are there, we just need to look for them. How do I know they are there? How do I know that His grace produces the Fruit of the Spirit in us?
It’s because He is faithful and good and merciful and compassionate.
The more you are aware of how much His grace has advanced – and it still advancing – in your own heart, the less room there will be for pride, idolatry, cultural preferences. The more you are aware of His grace at work in you, the more you will desire to see that same grace at work, in the life of others.
His grace is not an excuse to accept the lack of holiness in our lives, but it’s the source of hope and motivation to desire more of Him, to see Him at work more clearly.
What has His grace been doing, lately, in your own heart? How is this a motivation to desire the same results in the life of those around you?
Practicum – Making disciples in cultural diversity
Remembering His grace constantly will equip you well to overcome cultural barriers, when making disciples. This is particularly true and necessary when discipleship takes place in a culturally diverse setting, e.g. Hispanic American culture. The reason is because we all want and need His grace, regardless of cultural backgrounds.
Remember His grace, Follow Him in humility, Cultivate constantly, All in cultural diversity.