RESTING ON THE CUSHION OF GRACE
That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring – not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. Romans 4:16
I can be so terribly inconsistent. I know that I came to Christ through faith in Christ, that I contributed nothing to the equation, but from then on I am tempted everyday to live my life trying to please God. The Christian life becomes all about my efforts and going back to the law. Grace is shut out.
What will please God today? I can make a list and try to live up to it. I can vow to be honest today and do fairly well. I’ll only slip up twice. Does this double failure impress God? It’s better than failing ten times, right? Or does God only accept a one-time slip up? The line of what’s acceptable is vague, even tormenting, as I try to figure out what will make God happy with me. He is transformed into a judge, condemning or accepting according to my works, and I am kept off-balance in a perpetual state of insecurity.
God is my Father, not my judge. I have been made perfect in Christ. God has promised covenant love to me and I can rest in that promise on a soft cushion of grace. This is not some poetic expression to inspire me to feel better. It is the greatest reality of the kingdom. My Father is a lavish grace-giver. I need grace because none of my efforts are perfect enough to be stamped ‘holy and acceptable.’ But, because of grace, I know that God sees me through the veil of the cross. Christ’s atonement continues to work on my behalf today. As I sin, I repent, and I am washed clean yet again. There is no quota for how many times I can ask for forgiveness. I can come for cleansing, resting on grace, as often as I need it.
I love God. I love His Word. I obey with joy and good intentions. But failure to achieve perfection is a certainty. Instead of being hard on myself (which is so intrinsic to my nature), I take joy in the fact that God’s grace is poured out upon my sin. The cushion, ornate and intricately made, is the perfect place to repose.
I rest on promises I don’t deserve. But the focus is not on me and self-hatred. The focus is on You and Your great love. I celebrate Your great love and grace. Amen