I went out with my "good best friend" Ronnie today...We had dinner at Steak N Shake, stopped by the bookstore and hung out as his house for a while. I was trying to articulate what I'm looking for, which is basically grace and more grace. Because I need it...
So, I ended up buying The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. I am hooked. I just finished the first chapter, and I keep getting so excited I put off praying and just want to listen to music and soak up, bathe in and lather up grace and scrub my brain with it. It is that addicting.
I feel like I want to shout to the world that we don't get it. I still don't fully get it..I'm talking about grace. I want to understand it more, I want to give it more, I want people to understand Jesus Christ didn't come to give religion, He came to give freedom and life freely. I think I may now believe in "easy believism". But it isn't easy to believe, because we can't believe until God works in our hearts. So it's easy, but it's impossible.
The grace of God is scary. It jerks me up and forces me to put myself with people I don't feel comfortable being friends with. It makes me love all people, even the people I think are ugly, boring or stupid. God's grace is free and He wants us to throw it around like confetti. It makes me feel ashamed because I have seen in myself times where I have set a religious bar over someones head and told them to jump over it and then they can receive the good news of the gospel. I am guilty of putting a safety lock on the gospel, so that no one can be free with it. We give the gospel message that its free, by grace through faith, but we have added fine print to it. Since when is the power of God not strong enough to make someone new? Why do we try and do God's job? Because we're afraid that if one doesn't have religion, one doesn't have control. And thats exactly what God wants..He wants humans out of the control of other humans. We're trying to do His job by trying to sanctify people with fear, and looking at people with contempt when they don't meet this standard of holiness we have set.
Don't put a price on the gospel. Give it how you received it. Absolutely free. No fine print, no tricks, no gimmicks. If you didn't receive it like that, odds are you didn't receive it.
I found a new way to irritate people and please that side of myself that likes controversy. To give the gospel freely without cost. That irritates religious people.