Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Work Is To Believe

I realize I struggle with grace. lol. It's not that funny, but I love grace and hate it at the same time. I get it, then lose it.

I've replayed a scene in the movie "Hook" over and over. Robin Williams, who plays Peter Pan, gets his 'happy thought', laughs, and starts to fly. Then he stops laughing, and in an "oh crap" sort of tone says: "I lost it" and then starts to fall.

Faith in grace, I think, is when it doesn't even make sense to you and you plunge into it anyway. It's the attitude that says, "screw it", and jumps. Believing Jesus loves me regardless of anything I think, feel, do or say is the toughest leap of faith. This is what it means to believe. To give up being good and to seek Jesus. I don't mean we live sinful lives. I mean we quit worrying about sin, and put our trust in Jesus. To do this, you have to die to the law completely. The law will nullify your attempts at faith in Jesus. I've had it happen over and over again.

Everything in your mind will tell you to focus on your behavior and try to point out everything thats going wrong inside of you and outside of you. The law will continue to bring to your mind more and more failures. That's all it can and will do.

When Jesus talked about not letting your right hand know what your left hand is doing, I think He may have also meant not to even acknowledge your behavior, whether good or bad.

I also realized that when Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits", He didn't say, "You will know them by their behavior." He said fruit. Fruit is natural. Good trees bear good fruit. It's simple. Bad trees bear bad fruit. You can live under the law all you want, but Jesus is the only good tree that bears good fruit. Without Jesus, you can't do anything. You will only bear fruit for death under the law.


Grace Walker said...

WOW, this is absolutely fantastic!!!!!

Thanks so much for sharing, Matthew!

Gary Kirkham said...


Thank you for encouraging us to take our eyes off of ourselves and on to Jesus. Romans 6:11 says that we should count ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. How can we count ourselves dead to something if occupies so much of our thinking. I read an illustration once:

It's like a baby in a playpen focusing his attention on his favorite stuffed animal: a teddy bear. He holds on to the bear for dear life and if anyone tries to take it from him, he screams bloody murder. His focus is on that bear, it's his security blanket and no one is going to take it away. How do you get him to take his mind off of the blanket? You give him something better. Set a puppy down in front of the baby and watch what happens. The puppy is warm and cuddly. It moves around and wags his tail. It follows the baby around and licks him. By then the baby has forgotten all about the teddy bear and you can just reach in the playpen and take it away.

Off course I'm not suggesting that Jesus is a puppy, but haven't you seen how difficult it is to break our dependence on ourselves and preoccupation on our behavior. We kick and scream and refuse to let go. It's when we fall in love with Jesus and get preoccupied with His life, that those bad habits lose our interest and begin to fall away. The bad fruit will never fall away as long as we are caring for it and feeding it. It's only when our focus is on the vinedresser (Jesus) and our trust is completely in Him, that the bad fruit will rot and fall away and be replaced with the fruit of the righteous spirit of God.


Joel Brueseke said...

Hey Matthew! You are one of five people who I'm tagging. I think it will be fun if you participate in this tag, but I realize that this particular tag may be a bit time consuming, so don't worry if you don't have the time nor desire to participate. But have fun if you do! To find out what it's all about, see here.