Tough Love Equals Total Grace
by Brenton Sconce
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It disturbs me when I hear that by simply accepting mercy and grace with is most certainly un-merited, we are promised a life of prosperous means. While I believe that the Lord may indeed bless with talents to make riches, it is a stretch to say that all followers are destined to be resolved of life's problems. I find it to be quite the opposite. We are told in Scripture that we are not to expect any ease from this world in which we live.
We have been placed in front of the eternal justice, and through the words and actions of another, the very one we spurned, we are released, free to go. Not only are we free to go, we are still given the unbelievable opportunity to choose. Do we choose to respond to the incomprehensible act of love, or do we think that we can continue on in our affair with ourselves? It is with this audacity that we continue to act in opposition to the way we are meant to be. We were created to embrace with full humility the love, and forgiveness extended to within our grasp. Only when we decide to take hold of this forgiveness do we begin a process of relationship, not unlike any other, and yet utterly opposite of anything we have ever known before. This is exactly what we are invited into, every day. Not merely a relationship, but a sanctifying relationship. This relationship is as a marriage should be. It has been aptly stated that marriage is a gift resembling a full-length mirror with a tag upon it stating "here is to discovering what you’re really like!" Such is a relationship with our Redeemer.
It is in His light where we must daily make the decision. Ironically, not unlike a moth, we make a move towards the holy light of God. In this light is the beauty of the creator and the exposing radiation of Justice and Holiness. When we are first drawn in, we may get so close that we pass away, but are given the chance for a new life. To be "born again." Along with this paradox of destructive, life-breathing light do we realize that not only is our mortality exposed, but all the elements that consist of our makeup is brought to light. Both the pure things and the self-destructive actions we have acquired. For the Believer we must embrace and progress into this sickeningly, bittersweet light. We must recognize that as painful as it may be, it is only with this light is our sin eradicated. Just as a cancerous cell is exposed and disintegrated by radiation, so is our cancerous nature of the flesh. It goes without saying that this process is painful, and very much a life-long event.
Yet, if we claim to accept His forgiveness, we must have no other choice but to proceed on this path. It is a path marked by a humble acceptance of the gift that is offered. When we progress on this path we must realize that there is nothing to be done that would warrant the placement of this forgiveness, gracious justification and life-long sanctification upon demanding. The mere thought of the above mentioned words must evoke but one action, a singular mindset; that of humility. Any other action practically negates the positive action of these terms. Without a humble spirit, one cannot reasonably expect to begin to comprehend the power of forgiveness, nor the ramifications of Justification. Just as those who have never fathered a child, therefore never able to fully understand the sense of unconditional love, which spurs on forgiveness, so is a proud person attempting to comprehend forgiveness moved by Agape. For this is exactly what precedes forgiveness of this magnitude. We have cheated, have made love to another, spitting in the face of our true love.
Yet, it is not the coldness in response, which we fully deserve, but loving arms, welcoming eyes, ready to bring us back.
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