Grace Talk

So many of you have written to ask how Sunday’s talk went…and I am so thankful and grateful that you care. For those of you interested, you can hear the talk by clicking on the link in the right hand column. Otherwise, here’s a quick recap!

Sunday went well. Speaking publicly can be such an ego-driven thing and something I am so prone to getting sucked up into. I love to have my ego massaged. It’s fun when people tell me I “done good”, that I speak well, that I touched their lives or something to that effect. I certainly appreciate their sentiments – and all of the comments were positive this past weekend. But seriously, who is going to walk up to you if they didn’t like your talk and say, “Man, you really sucked!”

Whether they liked it or not, the focus of my message was two-fold. First, communicate to those who just can’t wrap their brains around the complete depth of God’s love for them. That portion of the talk is summed up in one sentence from the talk, “You cannot do anything to earn God’s love – you already have it!”

Second, I was hoping to communicate to those of us that have claimed to respond to God’s grace that we should actually live it out. I hope Church People will stop sucking life out of the local church and, as the old saying goes, “sitting and soaking” in Sunday services and small groups. At times our church programs can be so tired and lifeless. We need to create a personal “Grace Giving Manifesto” and love people to the measure that we are loved by God. (See “Senseless Grace” below).

The Manifesto looks like this and comes from Matthew 25:
Feed the hungry.
Welcome the stranger.
Clothe the naked.
Care for the sick.
Visit the disenfranchised.

What else (beside call out the Self-Righteous Stupid Church People) did Jesus do on this earth?!? Even most of the time when he was with his small group (disciples) he was doing one of the above listed things…discipling his followers in the midst of showing grace to others.

So for me now, the question remains – which of these will I begin to involve myself to give more of this “senseless grace”. I certainly think that learning to give grace will be the only thing that saves me from myself.

3 thoughts on “Grace Talk”

  1. That is it isn’t it. Are we willing to belive that God loves us as much as He says he does? That is the ultimate vulnerablility. It is so beautiful. Living hear in this body on earth. There is a war that goes on it seems. As the God of this world tries to blind our eyes and give us a religious view of who God is. I know that I have seen and experience His love. but for some reason I dont always feel it.

  2. Hey,Love your blogs and your podcasts. I find it refreshing for people to talk honestly about their faith while not being afraid to call someone a “dumbass” without retribution from the holier-tan-thou set.I did read in this article something that disturbed me a little, so I apologise for my first comment being somewhat complainant.But your manifesto ends with “Visit the disenfranchised”. This disturbed me because I always recall the line being “Visit the prisoner”.Have we read different versions of this line somewhere? Or has there been a dumbing down? To be disenfranchised is to be marginalised from the rest of the populations for any reason: income, race, gay or straight, the list is endless.But to “visit those in prison” means so much more. It means to show compassion to those for whom compassion has been righteously denied them, and to stand up to the conventions of law and society that “disenfranchise”.What exists in American culture that would redact the phrase “visit those in prison” to suit those for whom “in prison” is unacceptable?Forgive my ramble. Keep up the good work.

  3. Paul –Thanks for reading and commenting. Here I go again breaking my own rule of responding to my posts. But again, you did notice something directly and I thought I should explain. Right or wrong I did purposely change the word from “prison” to”disenfranchised” for a reason. You can call it a “dumbing down” if you like, but I saw it as a broadening of the original intent. Based on your post, it sounds as if you actually want to limit those we should visit to just those in physical prisons…but I see our responsibility as more than that.Those in prison have been disenfranchised. They have been denied privileges (i.e. freedom, the right to vote, etc) that otherwise are afforded the rest of society. If you look up the word “disenfranchised” you will see this is what it means.But as you mention, those of low income, certain races, sexual orientations, elderly, foster children, mentally ill, and other various individual groups are also denied certain privileges and in a sense are “disenfranchised” in our society. Some people that I know “feel” disenfranchised from whatever pain they feel they have suffered at the hands of society or others and need caring for as well.What exists in American culture that would cause me to change the word? Well I do not know the answer to that, because I can only answer for me. When I was writing I just felt like there are so many people in our world that are not just in physical prisons, but other type of prisons that we need to serve. These “cages of pain” I call them, exist for many individuals everyday of their lives. And these “invisible” bars are even more isolating, harder to break out of and more limiting then any physical prison could ever be. We need to be bold enough as followers of Christ to look around us and see people that are “caged” and serve them in an effort to see them “set free”. In no way am I suggesting that we overlook those in physical prisons either, since this is also a very important place to show the love of Christ to those that desperately need it.I hope that serves as a form of explanation. Keep reading and listening…we certainly appreciate you spreading the word about SCP. Thanks again Paul for commenting.

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