Saturday, July 28, 2007


What is your life established with? What is the foundation that you stand upon? What is the cornerstone of your life?

Are you rooted in the things you do, whether "good" or "bad?" In other words, is the core of who you are, in your heart - the way you see yourself - based upon your performance before God and/or man? Are you trying to establish your life by "how well" you're living by biblical principles? Do you find yourself checking your heart daily (or many times a day) to see if your thoughts and deeds are lining up to a certain value system that you've established as result of being a Christian? Is your thought life or your self-worth (your perception of yourself) based upon anything that has to do with your own righteousness or lack thereof?

I think one reason I "stayed away" from God for so many years, mainly during my teenager years, was because I didn't think I'd have the strength or conviction to really maintain any of the above. As I've previously shared, there were times when I thought I could do it, but those times were short-lived, and I would go back to "my own life," thinking that the Christian life was simply something I would never be able to do.

And the thing is, I was right! What I was really doing was basing my whole life upon my performance, and I essentially thought that my performance was bad and that I couldn't change it, so I stayed away from God! If only I'd known then what I know now!

I don't live in "what ifs." But as I think about how my life could have been different, it keeps my desire alive and well to always want to grow in the good news of the grace of God and always share it with others. I'm sure I wouldn't have lived a perfect life had I known that Jesus was truly my Savior and not my task-master. I live a far from perfect life as it is now, having been consciously growing in grace for over a decade! However, if I'd have known that God was for me, and that HE wasn't waiting for this one great day when I would finally get my act together, I think my roots could have begun to become truly established in grace a lot sooner. I wouldn't have been avoiding God, had I known that what He really wanted to do was to lavish me with His love and grace!

Hebrews 13:9 says "it is good that the heart be established by grace." Rooted, grounded, established, in the fertile soil of grace. Grace will never fail. We fail when we make principles and our performance our foundation. I'm certainly not against biblical principles that can truly guide us along the way, as we become more and more established in grace. But I've just seen so much in the church over the course of my 38 years (I know - to some of you I'm just a pup!) that shows me that many, many church people, for all intents and purposes, pretty much know the "Christian principles." But yet they have no clue who they are in Christ. They are not established in Christ or in grace, but rather they are established in performing.

I'm generalizing, of course, but for those Christians who are not established in grace, there are two general categories that they might fall into. They are either self-righteous, due to their "excellent" Christian performance (or at least that's their self-perception), or they're on the other end of the scale, struggling to make the Christian principles work right in their lives, because although they hear them taught week after week after week, and they know them well, they simply aren't finding the strength and power to walk in them.

I know that I need the daily encouragement to grow in grace. To dig deeper and deeper into the fertile soil of God's boundless grace, given to us freely in His Son, Jesus. There's no stronger foundation. There's no other foundation!

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