Returning to grace

Freezing temperatures here in Maryland have nudged me into editing my old journals. With nearly forty year’s worth of writing, I’m hoping the weather breaks before I get through the whole lot of them.

Two streams have clearly marked off my days: law and grace. Or more accurately, there’s a stream, and a catchment pond of do-it-yourself religion, law-keeping, and failed attempts at being a better Christian.  Paul refers to the catchment pond as a “veil over the hearts of the people. “Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But the moment anyone returns to the Lord, the veil is gone.” (2 Corinthians 3:15-16)

Forty years distilled into dead religion or life and freedom, and I’m betting I’m not alone in this.  Some of you – or maybe many of you – might even feel today like there’s a veil over your heart.  God seems distant, disengaged or disappointed with you.  I believe this can only mean one thing: we have returned to the law.

The stream of grace is the Spirit himself flooding our hearts with hope, encouragement, and a clear conscience towards God.  It’s unleashed not by religious activity, but by simple faith in the risen Christ.  So come with me, and let’s return to the God of grace, who offers all of Himself to unworthy sons and daughters who have nothing to give in return.  Lets believe again that Jesus has taken every possible obstacle out of the way, (especially sin and the law), and extended His love to us freely and without merit.

“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

14 thoughts on “Returning to grace”

  1. Hey Steve! Thanks for mentioning that! I think it was G.K Chesterton, and He actually said “The Christian ideal”, rather than “Christianity” itself. The Christian ideal, I assume, is the Kingdom. While Communism, Modernism, Liberalism, Socialism, etc. have been tried and found wanting, the Kingdom has been found difficult and seldom tried. (I do think the early church, the Hutterites, the Moravians, and some of our Pilgrim Fathers tried it, and found it glorious, though difficult.)

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  2. Good reading your words. Not easy this life,,,,,,, and the Bible tells us so. I find it hard at times and you know its always when I find myself alone to long. After four ankle surgeries and the time it has taken to heal the pain; “I find myself still waiting”. I have gotten invovled in helping people who have no means of helping them self’s, money, health, there ablity, age or widow through the church I’am a member of. Helping others seems the only way (At Times) to get me through. That’s a Big part of God’s Grace to All. I feel part of The Sheepfold that way and there He is guiding me. Being Graceful to others for me brings Hope, Love and the Faith back when I find myself alone He finds me, (asking to be found is a good thing also). The veil is removed.

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  3. Woot! Thanks Don for this inspiration. There are some key words that really jump out at me here:

    Clear conscience towards God;
    Simple faith;
    Returning to the God of grace;
    Who offers all of Himself;
    Freely;
    Without merit.

    That sounds great to me.

    Thanks Don for sharing the Gospel of simple faith in this complex world where we struggle for our works to please Him.

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  4. Thanks Don! Strange how i always forget grace and return to law 😉 But Baba is really bringing me back time after time – thank you Jesus! =)

    Blessings

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    1. It’s normal for many of us, Laila. That’s why I post these reminders. With the legalism in much of today’s church it’s almost unavoidable that our hearts become weighed down with the belief that God is wanting us to do better and try harder. By the way… you’re still a Princess!

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  5. Hi Don,
    I met you and had the absolute priviledge of listening to you speak at Fascinate in SC. I love the Worldview perspective that you shared that is SO SO SO NEEDED in the body today!! Thank you for the time and energy that you obviously spend researching volumes of information and presenting it is such a concise and powerful way! I am so blessed by the ministry the Lord has poured into you. I also love your website. Shalom!! Julie

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