Psalm 147:1-11, 20c; Proverbs 12:10-21; Galatians 5:2-15

Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash

I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you >attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from >Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying >relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion >nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far >more interior: faith expressed in love. – Galatians 5:4-6, The Message

How often do I seek to live by my own religious plans and projects?

All. The. Time.

I remember when I first began learning about the depths of grace in books like The Ragamuffin Gospel, What's So Amazing About Grace, and Putting Amazing Back Into Grace. It was like someone took the blinders off me. All of a sudden there was this overwhelming sense of freedom that I never knew existed in my faith life.

But, then something happened.

I became legalistic about freedom.

As Paul might have said, I stopped practicing conscientious religion for a disregard of religion.

My freedom had become license.

Both legalism and license are missing the mark.

Grace frees us to live a life of faith expressed in love.

What a remarkable idea to consider.

My life is too often not one of faith expressed in love. It is often faith expressed in rules, expectations, demands, or control. Too many times everything boils down to a simple recipe of “do this” and “don't do that.”

But Grace calls me deeper. It calls me to a place of love. Love means that I'm free to serve, to be present, to listen, to simply be.

Grace-Love it's not easy to put your arms around. You have to just do it, live it, practice it. And oh does it take practice!

The further into living a life of Grace-Love the more you find yourself in situations that you can't control. So, the temptation is ever present to grasp control back. I have to keep learning that the call, the deep call of Grace-Love is that of letting go.

It's neither license nor legalism. It something far deeper, indeed, a faith expressed in love.


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