Monday, April 26, 2010


"When is the word 'Freely' not associated with the word 'Grace'?" I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I've been meeting with four other guys from the worship arts department at church and reading through "In The Grip of Grace" by Max Lucado. The topic, obviously, is Grace and its a walk through the book of Romans. During these meetings, in order for us to be able to better minister to each other through what God says about our issues, we've been pretty transparent and pretty much laying our darkest secrets on the table. What I've found is that, at some point, we've all experienced a state of spiritual paralysis. I was happy to learn I wasn't the only one. I was also encouraged by what God's word says.

I'll take this opportunity to share a little of my personal testimony. I was fifteen years old and accompanying my parents with our choir while singing at a revival at a little church in Alabama. I didn’t want to be there. I can't remember why. I just didn't. The evangelists bringing the message looked like he was going to drop dead of a heart attack; sweating profusely, red faced, neck bulging, gasping for breath with the signature "Haa!" at the end of every statement. I endured nevertheless. When the invitation was given, if I'm honest, I was praying that no one responded so I could go home. I looked up to find the evangelist standing right next to me (I was in the back of the church). "Are you ok?" he asked. "No" I responded. I still don't know why he singled me out but it was like God had placed me under a holy microscope and, at which point, everything was revealed. I asked God to come into my life and I was miraculously changed.

I would like to tell you that I immediately started living a saintly life and I was a soldier for Christ from then on. I wasn't. I was very excited and I knew I was different. I went to school the following day and proceeded to tell my friends that I was saved but the following years were much different. I have done things after the day of my salvation that, honestly, I'm embarrassed to talk about and it would make for a much longer book. Did I lose my salvation? No! That's not scriptural. I believe because I wasn't studying God's word daily I became preoccupied and the rest is history. Again, I was saved. However, I had no understanding of "Lordship". Fortunately, God allowed me to stay around long enough to learn that lesson and has allowed me to serve Him further while here on the earth.

I've been constantly reminded of my past. That's what Satan does. If he can't have your eternity, he'll have your today. He'll make you question your salvation, question your abilities, and even question God's abilities.

Let's get back to the question. "When is the word 'Freely' not associated with the word 'Grace?" When the application is "Receiving" grace. Grace; unmerited favor, given freely, paid for with a price. There is nothing you can do to earn or deserve it. If there was, then Jesus died for nothing.

John 11:32-44 tells us the story of Jesus was called to rescue his friend Lazarus from the dead. This account states that, according to Mary, Jesus was four days late. Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days and stunk. "Jesus wept." (vs 35) Did He weep because His friend, Lazarus, was dead? That doesn't make sense. Jesus raises the dead! I believe Jesus wept because of their lack of faith. As the story continues, Jesus yelled "Lazarus, Come out!" and Lazarus walked out of the grave. Why did Jesus yell? He whispered to the storm and it subsided. He spoke and the universe was created. Was it to show authority? I believe there's the possibility that he was a little mad with the fact that His people, His own followers, had just accused Him of being too late.

What's keeping you from stepping out of the grave, or rut, you're in? Is it disbelief? Lack of faith? Jesus is weeping because His people are constantly coming across the "next big thing" that He can't overcome. It is by grace, through FAITH, that we are saved. By the way, God's word says that we are BEING saved (1Cor 1:18). That's on a daily basis through a relationship with Him. We are going to mess up but, through grace, we are made holy in Him. Jesus is calling. Roll away the stone, lose the grave clothes and start living!

1 comment:

  1. Re: "Jesus wept." (vs 35) Did He weep because His friend, Lazarus, was dead?

    While people frequently say that Jesus cried because he missed his friend Lazarus, you are correct to note that doesn't make sense. As a matter of fact when Jesus informs the disciples that Lazarus is dead, he said that he was glad for their sakes, and he goes on to explain why. has a free Bible study that simply compares scripture with scripture in order to highlight some facts about Lazarus, the "friend" who "Jesus loved", that are often overlooked. It may be worth your time to consider the presentation of biblical evidence that it offers.