Here is the blog entry that posted this week on the ShelfLife blog.
I had a conversation this week with a friend and we were discussing all the things that happen to us when we get tired. Typically… we get emotional, we get irrational, we get irritable, we become more self focused and more often than not, unproductive. As I read through Chapter 11 discussing the difference between religion and the gospel, it hit me… Christ died that I may have “rest”!
Keller discusses the differences between living for a set of rules and living in the freedom of grace. When we lived to follow a set of rules we end up frustrated and tired. We realize that we really can’t ever do enough. We are driven by performance always finding out that someone is better. In running after the perfect performance of the rules we must be self dependent, fighting pride. Or on the flip side we find that we never measure up and shame and guilt come rushing in to be our companions. God NEVER intended our lives to be this way.
He was clear in His Word that Christ came that we might have life and have it abundantly. That truth has come to set us free, that we are saved by grace alone. We can’t earn it, change it, influence it… it just is. Grace allows us to live with confidence and dignity. It always drives us to humility realizing the cost to God and His Son and the amazing gift to us. It shows us what our worth is and while we don’t deserve it, it comes with great riches. It allows us to rest, to be filled up with what He created us for… HIS LOVE. And it is unfailing, never changing and pretty mind blowing.
I think a lot of people struggle because grace just doesn’t make sense. We want to be held accountable, be able to work for it, to not be in debt, especially to the God of the Universe. But then the tired routine sets in, we can’t ever do enough. So we find ourselves emotional, irrational, irritable, self focused, and unable to really live the life He intended for us. He wants us to come to Him, to take His yoke upon us, to experience the peace and joy of trusting Him. His plan is perfect, it is what we were created for.
When we really take the time to get to KNOW God, we are then drawn to BELIEVE Him. Not just believe in Him, but actually believe what He says, about who He is and who we are. Then we fall in LOVE with Him. Then and only then are we motivated to serve Him and love others. It takes time and space… time with Him and time in His word. And it means making space for Him, allowing Him to be the priority and allowing Him to change us.
Religion is exhausting! Grace is God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense! And those riches are unmatched by anything that we can make, produce, earn or work for. So this week, give God time and space, allow your heart to be fed on the truth of His grace and rest, be free, and experience life abundantly!