Flowing Faith

Extending Grace not Judgment

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Scot-free by grace

“Is your default mode toward others judgment or grace?” asked  Rick Warren on Twitter on the 28th of August, 2010. I’ve been contemplating it ever since. This is crucial.

Have I fully embraced grace, been changed inside out and now truly reflecting and extending God’s love and grace? And not hate, doom, and judgment? Because God is love and he wants us to live and move in grace.

“I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.” (John 13:34-35, CEB)

That’s what I want. But, sure, it’s not always easy. I wonder how I can truly love the people but hate the sin. Can I really love so completely that my disapproval won’t sneak in as a condemning frown? Can my default mode toward others become grace not judgment?

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. (John 3:16-18, MSG) 

If God didn’t send his Son merely to point an accusing finger and condemning people…it’s not my job either. If God did send his Son to help, to put the world right again….  my job is to share the life-changing grace of Jesus Christ. If God did send his Son to seek people to be embraced by grace…. also my job is to embrace others with God’s abundant grace.

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. (Galatians 5:1, MSG)

If Christ has set us free…let’s not become slaves again by condemning ourselves or others. If Christ has paid the price on the cross…let’s not downgrade the freedom by living like slaves. Because our enemy enjoys whispering lies about how bad we are or how bad the others are. Let’s not buy into those lies. Let’s live a free and graceful life! Because we are all saved by grace, not by works or by being good. Let’s leave the land of condemnation for good and embrace the free state of grace!

And don’t get to feeling superior to those pruned branches down on the ground. If they don’t persist in remaining deadwood, they could very well get grafted back in. God can do that. He can perform miracle grafts. Why, if he could graft you—branches cut from a tree out in the wild—into an orchard tree, he certainly isn’t going to have any trouble grafting branches back into the tree they grew from in the first place. Just be glad you’re in the tree, and hope for the best for the others. (Romans 11:23-24, MSG)

 

Gracious God,
Help me to take stand for your grace!
Enable me to emulate your grace.
Let my default mode toward others be grace, not judgment!
Let my default mode towards me be grace, not judgment!
Work for us, in us, through us.
Help us to live a free life!
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: What is your default mode toward others? Have you struggled with it?

Be blessed, fellow pilgrim, as you leave the land of condemnation to the state of grace!

Giving thanks today for
#881 all-powerful grace
#882 my job is not to judge
#882 I’m called to love
#884 I’m called to live free
#885 we are called to live and move in grace
#886 grace empowers us to extend grace to others
#887 God’s default mode is love
#888 God’s love is our home
#889 God’s grace will never run out
#890 the more grace we extend, the more grace there is
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Image courtesy of Luke Skilbeck. This post is refurbished from 10/2010. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty & Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday and

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  • http://lisanotes.blogspot.com/ Lisa notes…

    Ouch, this one hits home because it’s what I wrote about today, too, except I didn’t come out too clean on it. :-( I want my default to be GRACE! With the Lord’s help, I’ll keep inching closer to that goal. Thanks for the encouragement, Mari-Anna.

    • http://www.flowingfaith.com Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

      Yeah, it is hard, Lisa! And the progress is often so slow. But by God’s grace we keep inching closer to that goal. Thanks for sharing this journey with me. I appreciate you, Lisa! Abundant blessings!

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    Lately I’ve been thinking of all the times Jesus saw a crowd and he had compassion on them. How many times do I see a crowd and I have compassion? Do I see a harvest ripe for plucking or do I avoid eye contact so I won’t have to feel anything?

    • http://www.flowingfaith.com Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

      I hear you, TC! If we dare to follow Jesus’ example we’d be so much more compassionate. Sinners flocked to Jesus. Do they flock to me? And if they don’t…what’s wrong with the picture? Lord, have mercy! Thanks for wrestling with these issues with me, TC. I so appreciate you. BLESSINGS!

      • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

        Hmmm…you’ve got me thinking with that question you asked. “Do they flock to me?”

        Thank you for helping shed light on a situation I’ve been praying about. Now to ask God for more revelation.

        Blessings to you and yours as well!

        • http://www.flowingfaith.com Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

          You are welcome, TC! Thank you! May God revel to you all you need!