Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Grace

"Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace.  And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace."
-Jerry Bridges, The Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness

I finally picked up this book again after a long hiatus and decided to start all over with it.  I honestly can't believe I've never read it until now...it seems like such a classic piece of Christian literature.  I've seen the above quote on many Facebook profiles and read it in a lot of other places, but to each time I read it I always find it reassuring.

I often err on the side of duty in my spiritual life.  I am a person who likes to get things done.  Therefore, my time spent each day reading my Bible and praying can be something that just becomes another thing I check off of my "to-do" list .  I can get to a point where I feel smugly proud of my efforts.  In my heart of hearts, I start to look down on other people who don't do these things and my judgmental attitude takes over my thoughts.  I think I am ok in God's sight because of what I do.

But Bridges is another author in a long line I've read recently that brings me back to reality.  I am a sinner.  Even at my "best" (what I said above about my spiritual life) my worst comes out in my attitudes and thought patterns.  As the Bible says, "The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked-who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9).    Thankfully, I have no need to despair or to be surprised at those patterns.  God is doing a work in me, and even in the midst of my good and bad days, His grace abounds and He loves me regardless as I work towards holiness.  How kind of Him.

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