Do you live by grace?

I am reading an excellent book, Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges. I think that every Christian should read it — especially if you have been a Christian for a while and are heavily involved in Christian activities. The book, in a nutshell, is about living by grace instead of by works. He has noticed that many Christians trust completely in God’s grace for salvation, but when it comes to our daily lives, we are very work oriented. We believe that He will not give his blessings to us unless we do the right things, say the right things, or think the right things. I struggle with this exact thing very much! I find that if I have missed having a quiet time for several days, that I am afraid to go back to doing a quiet time lest He be angry with me and not speak to me. Yet, His Word is there for the very purpose of speaking to us. It is how He communicates who He is, what He desires, what He has promised, etc. Why would He withdraw Himself from it? He wouldn’t, of course, but I often live a works-based faith. I am sometimes afraid that because I (or my wonderful husband) slipped up and spent money on a frivolous item that He won’t continue to bless our financial journey to become debt-free. That’s not what His Word says, though! According to His Word, He doesn’t want us in debt! This is a godly pursuit that we have and though He may not make it simple, He will help us get through it. He won’t cause us to fail in it, as my mind sometimes thinks. God may discipline us, but He doesn’t withhold His favor from us because we have failed. He knows that we will fail. And though we don’t deserve it and we often don’t recognize it, He continues to bless us. I think that sometimes, I’m just looking for the wrong blessing! I’m looking for money falling from heaven or a new job. Instead, I receive a babysitter who doesn’t ask for much money and yet takes care of all our dishes! Or maybe the blessing was the unexpected meeting of dear, muchly missed friends. Or perhaps it was the couple of hours that we got to enjoy just having fun as a family. So, I challenge you: Are you paying so much attention to your failures and what consequences the Holy One is going to bring that you are missing out on the blessings that the God of all Grace is giving?

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