First of all, hi! I know it’s been a while since I last posted and it would feel really weird to jump right back in without acknowledging that it’s been a couple of months. I’ll post more about why I took the break and how God’s used it later but, for today, I just want to say I’ve missed this chance to connect with our church and am looking forward to posting more regularly.
If nothing else, this blog provides a convenient format for me to Monday morning quarterback my own sermons, which I feel the need to do today. All last week, I had been so excited to preach yesterday’s message, “The Prison Of Passivity” but as I was driving home, I found myself concerned that I wasn’t as clear as I should have been.
I definitely wanted to shake all of us, myself included, out of the rut of passivity. I just hope I did that in a way that built on the unshakeable foundation of God’s grace. It’s grace that saves us, sustains us, provides for us, guides us, and transforms us. If you take grace out of the equation, you no longer have Christianity. Everything in our lives flows from the fountain of grace.
But that grace doesn’t exempt us from effort. It empowers it. And I think that’s where we tend to get confused, justify our apathy, and spiritualize our innate laziness or passivity. As I said yesterday, what we see as grace in the rearview mirror of life always looks like effort through the windshield. I fear that we’ve lost sight of that reality.
Yes, God parts the Red Sea. But we still have to walk through it. Yes, no one can come to the Son unless the Father draws them. But God makes His appeal through our lives and our words. Yes, it’s love for Christ that motivates us to spend time with him in the early morning hours of the day. But it takes an alarm clock to make it happen. Yes, any professional success we have is attributable to God’s grace. But it’s also going to take a lot of hard work.
I was listening to a sermon from Pastor Levi Lusko on the treadmill this morning and heard him say, “If you see someone on the top of a mountain, you know he didn’t fall there.” There was a long, hard climb to get there. Jesus rarely offers a ski lift to the top. He’s far more likely to empower us for the hike.
Praise God for grace. We would be no where without it. But that grace doesn’t exempt us from effort. We want to be a people who see holiness and hustle as two sides of the same coin, not competing values.
So, whatever you’re up to today, “work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Col. 3:23-24). Don’t live today locked in the prison of passivity. Grace has freed you from that!