Sunday, July 21, 2013

Full of Grace and Truth

On the rare occasion that I am in the car by myself I like to listen to sermons on the radio. You never know what little nugget of wisdom you might get that way. A while back I heard a sermon that blew my mind and it still has me thinking about it today. I do no remember who was preaching or even what the subject was, but what the preacher said was so good, like, so, so good! It was one of those a-ha moments. Ever have one of those? Well, I have been in need of another one lately. So, I thought I would share about my last one and maybe it would help me find my next one!

Here is what the preacher said:

Jesus was both full of grace and full of truth.  

Isn't that incredible?! Amazing!

Jesus' grace did not diminish the truth and the truth did not diminish His grace. 

He was both full of grace AND truth. Together, at the same time, grace and truth!

John the Baptist could have said anything about Jesus. He could have said he was kind, that he was a healer, miraculous or Divine. But what John chose to say about Jesus was this;

 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. 
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, 
who came from the Father,  
full of grace and truth. (John 1:14- emphasis mine)

Oh, how many times have I spoken truth to someone but forgot all about the grace part?! What I said was right and true, but how I delivered it was mean and hurtful. When we speak truth to people, but do not extend grace- we are not doing any good for Gods Kingdom. We come across as hurtful and unkind.

On the flip side. When grace is extended to the point that the truth is left out or distorted, then we are no longer speaking truth.  When we extend so much grace to someone that we are no longer also giving truth to them- Gods truth- then we are also not doing any good for God's Kingdom.

I think God is disappointed in both situations.

Full of Grace and Truth. It's a mighty fine line to find!

I recently have been convicted that maybe I don't come across to others they way I mean to. I try to be funny and make a joke- but I am seen as callas and hurtful. I get short with people and then I am seen as rude and mean.

What I want people to see in me is Jesus.

I believe the best way to show people Jesus is to be like Him.
Full of grace and truth.

Jesus experienced every emotion that we experience. He has been tired and hungry. He knows what it feels like to he hated and betrayed. He knows what it is like to feel lonely and left out. The difference between Jesus and me  -there are many, many differences but this is one- He didn't use those feelings and experiences for an excuse. Even though he was tired he didn't get short with people and be unkind. Even though he was betrayed and misunderstood, He didn't run around gossiping to everyone he saw "Can you believe he said/did that to me?"

To be both full of grace and truth means extending grace to others and myself. It means speaking truth to both others and myself. Some people need a little extra dose of grace and others need a little extra dose of truth- but both must be present!

Recently I have been convicted that maybe I fall into the needing an extra dose of grace category! I do not struggle with the truth side. I am very black and white- right is right and wrong is wrong. I think because of that (and the whole being human and not God thing), I may need a little extra dose of grace from others! I am a EGR person- extra grace required.