What? Grace? We don’t need no stinking grace. It happens in churches all across the country…right living. I’ve seen it first hand and I’ve even been a part of it unfortunately. I pray however, that I would honor God and stop it. You see, people all over are living their lives to please God. That is the end…not honor…not glorify…please. There is a specific nuance that corresponds to the word please. Trying to earn something…or make God like us.
We’re told every day of our lives that we are special…no we’re not. We’re told that we can be whatever we want to be…no we can’t. We’re told that if we work hard enough, we can succeed at anything…not necessarily. We live within grace. Grace is given to us when we are allowed to wake up even after we have sinned against God the day before. We’ll have none of that however; we will please God with our actions, we will please Him with how we conduct ourselves, and we will please Him with what we do not do as much as what we do, for that is the Christian way.
OK, I’m not trying to sound angry, or mean, or even bitter…just saying what God has been teaching me in the last few years/months. What am I? …nothing without Him. That doesn’t sit well with me though. That doesn’t sit well with most people. We want to know how to make God an offer He can’t refuse. We’ll even do nursery…just kidding…if you do nursery you are a saint.
In 1936/7 a book was written by Dale Carnegie called How to Win Friends and Influence People. This book has become scripture to the world today. In fact, I would say that the principles have been practiced in the church for years. The premise of the book is, how to treat people so that any reasonable person couldn’t possibly say no to you. We constantly try to put God in a position where He couldn’t possibly say no. How on earth could God look at us and not appreciate the things we are doing?
Ancient pagans would do this by offering mounds of sacrifices. They would offer humans, money, food, animals…you name it they would offer it. Modern pagans offer their churchiness and values…their lifestyles. Ancient religions taught that god was bound to their worshipers because they needed them. The God of the Bible however, does not need us. We are alive to bring glory to Him…not the other way around. The fact that He didn’t just wipe off the earth and start over after Adam and Eve is grace. He had the power…he could wipe it clean faster than the UPS whiteboard guy…but He didn’t…and He didn’t for His glory. He extended grace to us that while we were yet sinners…Christ died for us.
Yeah I know…another bitter Xer trying to change everything. Well, the first thing I would like to change is my heart…I pray that God would grant me repentance for my actions. I would rather be a hypocrite than be seen as one. I would rather show up to church and look like I have it together then show up and seek His face and ignore everyone else. Yeah I know…I can seek Him anyplace…but if I can’t do it in front of my brothers and sisters…do I mean it? If I am not willing to show people I am sinful…will I be willing to admit that to God?
Ecc 7:6 says that only an idiot laughs when he is on fire…look it up…it may be worded differently in your Bible but that is what it says. Let’s let people see what is under the button up shirts and khakis…everyone knows that is the church uniform. It’s the christian’s mullet. Showing that we are both casual…and also bringing our ‘best’ to God.
Pray with me that we would be granted repentance from our burning laughter.