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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Grace: The Summa of Our Ennobling

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works." (Titus 2:11-4)
Such an amazing picture of grace, its efficacy and fruitfulness! Grace gets it done. Grace brings salvation; it frees us from judgment and condemnation for eternity. Grace trains us to shun ungodliness, anything which offends God and transgresses his way of life for us. Grace trains us to gradually renounce worldly passions full of deceiving sensuality and selfish pleasures or pursuits. It reveals that what sparkles and entices ends up stinging like an adder, numbing the heart to true joy.

Grace leading to true life trains us to hearty self-controlled lives, being able to walk uprightly before God, and actually becoming godly people - having hearts after his heart so we pursue the purposes of God and follow in his ways.

Grace enables us to wait longingly and patiently for what we hope is the good end of all things: the triumphal appearing of the astounding glory of Jesus the Messiah, who is our God above all other gods; who saved us with his own life, substituting his righteousness for our sin, atoning for us. In our waiting, we are expectant and open to the possibilities for creating change. He has fully redeemed us from rebellious lawlessness...all of it. He sacrificed himself that we might the people of his possession, dedicated to living all of our lives doing the good work which frees, heals and reconciles them to God.

Grace will teach the way to work for the good as our fullest joy and greatest longing. It will release us from the fear of not going for the many "brass rings" in life. We may even start to view such pursuits as "chasing after the wind." Grace will lead us to our place in settling the Kingdom of life and freedom on the earth.Our zeal will be for the good which blesses.

Grace gradually ennobles us without our notice. Our purifying on this earth makes us fit to carry the weight of glory, the summa of our ennobling.

Amazing grace is the "catalytic agent" by which salvation and redemption are possible at all. Without it there is only law and works as the means of redemption. We know where that ends. Grace opens the way and makes us sufficiently able to walk in it as we are trained over a lifetime to want God's heart above all else. It is a treasure of infinite magnitude and inestimable value, making all who live by grace full of riches no matter their life experience.

In the end, grace will heal and restore Creation to unstoppable life. Life so radiant and full it hamstrings death, dragging it to the place of utter nothingness. Grace will empty sin of its sting. Grace will harness evil and shut its voice.

Grace will bring the color to the fade, the music to the noise, the dance to the death march.

Grace will then bow to its Lord and with a tearful smile say: "It is finished once and for all my Beautiful King."

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