I've been glancing back through my pitifully small archives...
Unfortunately, after almost a year of this blog, I could still say so many of the same things over and over again.
I've actually contemplated a large-ish forehead tattoo on more than on occasion. Just one word. "GRACE" . Grace. Grace.
That's what the church world needs to be reminded of. Unmerited favor. Favor we don't deserve, escape from punishment that should have been ours, everything up to and including life everlasting.
All paid for by He who was fully God yet fully Man.
But we can't see it. We're blinded by our own little slice of fundementalist 1900-ish Victorian traditions. (you know, the generation who introduced CIO, scheduled feeding, maternal abandonment, and everything else that's toting us to hell in a handbasket. Ever wonder WHY these last few generations have been so remarkably awful compared to the 'good old days? Could it be because we sacrificed our God-given instincts on the alters of the self annointed experts?)
We all think we need to be punished, deserve to be punished, can not be forgiven without punishment. We *need* our tri-weekly beratings from the pulpit to remain holy. We *need* to wallow in guilt. We *need* to repeat the same sins over and over and over again - after all, we're too weak to overcome them on our own.
Grace says Jesus took upon himself the document decreeing our guilt and NAILED IT TO HIS OWN CROSS! He erased it with His own blood.
Jesus came that we might have abundant life, not be stifled by our feelings of guilt and inadequacy. The very things we feel guilt over, He doesn't even see. He's covered us, and we spend weeks, months, years, lifetimes trying to frantically erase His blood to call attention back to our own guilt. "But SEE, God? See what I did? Where are the lighting bolts from Heaven!? You must hate me, Lord!"
And all the while, He stands there holding out Grace. Forgiveness. Peace. Love. Eternity.
Is it any wonder we struggle to apply Grace to our children? We have such a hard time to grasp it for ourselves...