Tuesday, June 28, 2016

His Grace is Enough


Romans 6:14
For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

As my husband, Danny, and I put our heads together to plan out the meals for the coming week, we decide that a crock pot offering on my part, for at least one of those dinners, will greatly alleviate his stress from several 12-hour, downtown days at work.  Danny is in the mood for a Beef Bourguignon.  The recipe he finds?  Daunting!

Can we say this slow-to-chop-slow-to-prep cook is feeling a wee bit insecure?

I read through the recipe repeatedly the night before I'm going to use the crock pot, and I find myself questioning the logic and necessity of some of the steps involved.  Why do the onions have to be sauteed?  Carrots and celery, too?  Really?  And the mushrooms?  Why do they require any pre-cooking?

But when I finally set about to prepare the ingredients the next morning, I decide to play it safe and follow the recipe to the letter.  (Well, I confess I only estimated the amount of wine and totally forgot to add that last pinch of salt.)  Sure, it takes, to my mind, excessive preparation, but the end result?  As Danny declares that evening, "It's the best Beef Bourguignon I've ever tasted!"

~

My experience with this brand new recipe reminds me of God's laws set out in the Old Testament.  The Ten Commandments are clear and simple.  He gave them to us as a recipe we must follow to the letter in order to stay close to Him.

We may have every good intention in keeping these laws, but somewhere along the line, in our human weakness, we are bound to fail in our attempts.  We begin to question, as I did with the steps in the recipe, if God really meant what He said, or are we allowed some leeway for our own interpretations.

The Old Testament contains story after story recounting the numerous and egregious sins committed by the tribes of Israel and Judah.  No matter how many times the people repented and tried again, they simply could not follow God's commandments on their own.  They needed something more to stay the course of their relationship with Him.

Enter Christ Jesus, the Messiah, who declares in Matthew 5:17, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."

How?  By grace!

Because when we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, He works in us through the Holy Spirit.  Transforms us little by little to be more like Him.  Engraves God's laws not on tablets of stone, but in the soft, pliant flesh of our hearts.

And when we still mess up, for we will, Jesus forgives us if we turn to Him with repentance for our sins.

That's grace.

And it's enough for me.

Instead of sharing a prayer today, I invite you to listen to the song, Your Grace is Enough, by Chris Tomlin.  Enjoy and sing along!

16 comments:

  1. I "fell in love" with grace several years ago and can't get enough. I love talking about it. I love preaching about it. I love hearing songs about it, especially one like this. I love singing this song in our worship. Fantastic "recipe" today Martha. :)

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    1. Thank you, Bill! Yes, this song is one of my favorites, too, and we also perform it at our contemporary service. Like you, I can't get enough of God's grace, so freely and undeservedly given.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Very inspiring and encouraging, Martha. This read soothed my soul.

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    1. Thanks so much, Shira, that's great to know!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Very inspiring and encouraging, Martha. This read soothed my soul.

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  4. Great analogy, Martha! I used to do the same thing with crock pot recipes. I would think, it's going to cook in there so what's the big deal? But as I learned more, I now understand that the extra preparation is what brings out all the flavor. Jesus fulfilled all the steps to bring out the full flavor of life, and we get to enjoy and embrace His perfect work. Thanks Martha.

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    1. I'm glad you've experienced just what I was referring to, Jason. Yes, following the steps does enhance the flavor, and Jesus certainly did exactly that so we could have life and have it more abundantly.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Martha, just heard a great message on this very subject this past Sunday. Thank God for the preparation of the law that show us our sinful nature. God is so wise and has order in all He does. Glad I am living in the age of grace...benefiting from all the prep work He did.

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    1. That's so neat that you had just recently heard this message, Betty! Coincidence? I think not! :)
      And yes, God prepared everything to perfection that Jesus' coming would usher in the Kingdom just at the right time. So glad that I, too, am living in the age of grace.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Martha, just heard a great message on this very subject this past Sunday. Thank God for the preparation of the law that show us our sinful nature. God is so wise and has order in all He does. Glad I am living in the age of grace...benefiting from all the prep work He did.

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  7. Martha, where would any of us be without God's grace? I shudder to think where I would be, if it wasn't for God's grace. Similarly, a question posed in Sunday's sermon keeps floating around my brain: Is God enough?

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, Kim, I can't imagine, nor do I want to, where we would be without the grace of God. And that's such a weighty question to ponder: Is God enough? I can't imagine anyone saying that He isn't, but then again . . .
      Love and blessings!

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  8. A beautiful weaving of real life and real faith, Martha. Thank you for this piece!

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    1. Thank you, Linda, for your kind words.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Amen!
    While I still struggle with relying on my performance, I shouldn't. His grace is enough.

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    1. Yes, TC, His grace will ever and always be enough, performance not required.
      Love and blessings!

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