It just amazes me sometimes how when the Lord is speaking to me about a particular area of my life, that the very same issues start popping up in other places – in blog posts, radio shows, books, etc. I know that that is confirmation to me that I am hearing from Him and that I need to pay attention!
As I shared in a previous post, about the focus of being intentional, this very same issue of relationship keeps coming up in things I have been reading lately. I just finished an excellent book called Grace Walk that has really opened my eyes and helped me see God’s desires for me. I heap such a heavy load on myself sometimes (much of it based on law) when God simply wants a relationship with me, based on grace and love.
Here are some quotes that I highlighted in the book that really spoke to me:
Legalists can talk all day about the Bible being the Word of God, but legalism deafens us to God’s voice.
That’s what the Holy Spirit does when we approach the Bible with a grace perspective. He uses the inspired Word to reveal a loving God to us and to create within us a desire to know Him more intimately.
A grace-oriented method of Bible study creates a hunger to know Jesus and to hear His voice.
A legalistic approach to the Bible carries one to its pages for information; grace brings the believer to the Bible seeking revelation.
The Bible is a weapon against sin when it is internalized together with a sincere love for Christ. Memorizing Scripture loads the gun, but only love can pull the trigger.
This is how it always is with a legalist. He views the commands of the New Testament with a sense of guilt and self-condemnation. He can never do enough to please God.
There is a better way to view the New Testament commands. As you move forward into the grace walk, a mental shift takes place that causes you to begin to see the commandments in a positive way. You begin to understand them from a basis of love.
Christian service that doesn’t overflow from our walk with Christ is nothing but flesh.
He still wants us to find our source in His life, not in laws dictating right and wrong. When we realize that our lifestyle should express the life of Christ within us, we realize that we have been asking all the wrong questions!
Christians are quick to acknowledge that deeds of human goodness demonstrated by a person who isn’t a Christian mean nothing to God. When even a Christian lives from his own resources, his good deeds are still nothing more than self-righteous behavior. Do you see the problem? The fruit comes from the wrong tree.
Do you find yourself constantly grading your spiritual life to make sure you are still passing the tests you give yourself? Take your eyes off yourself and place your full attention on Christ!
As you move from a performance-based lifestyle to the grace walk, you will find it isn’t necessary to be obsessed with your own attitudes and actions. The Holy Spirit within you will call your attention to anything that needs to be changed. Then, as you yield those areas of your life to Him, He will change them for you. Your responsibility is simply to rest in Christ. He will do whatever needs to be done. Now that is grace!
An obsession with right and wrong stresses law instead of life.
I highly recommend this book. I could have highlighted the whole book, it was that good. Check out Grace Walk today!
I have been challenged these past few days and pray that you have too. Challenged not to do more, be more, or be better, but to focus on Jesus – on His love for me as His child, His desire to have a relationship with me. It is only out of that basis of love for Jesus that I can truly love and serve my family. All my self-righteous ways are as filthy rags. I just want to know Him more and love Him more, and allow His Holy Spirit to work in and through me. To love and serve like only He can and in the process building those relationships with my family.
So…how about an intentional summer of walking in grace!
Have a blessed grace-filled