Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Grace, Grace, God's Grace...

"If God's supernatural, undeserved, sovereign grace is to flow through you, you must be willing to maintain a right relationship with God by confessing your sins the moment you become aware of them, and as you do, accepting God's free grace... the power to acknowledge that He has forgiven them. Christian groups have done a reasonably good job of imparting the need to spend time alone daily, usually in the morning, with God. Some call it a "quiet time". (Those are the folks without small children). Some call it "time in the Word". That's a misnomer, unless all you do is study. Some call it their "devotional time". It is a vital part of maintaining your relationship with God, and if you don't do it, you're missing one of the great opportunities to introduce enough discipline in your life to free God to work.

But remember, your time with God in the morning is not your meeting with God for the day. It is the beginning of an all day relationship. So often, we pray, ask God for grace, ask forgiveness of sins, make our needs known, and press on into the cruel world that awaits us, with a "So long, God, that was neat, see you again tomorrow" mentality. Your "quiet time" (or whatever you call it) is simply God calling the meeting to order. The meeting never ends. And while it is vital to begin the day with God and realize that "His compassions fail not, they are new every morning," it is just as vital to realize that as you venture out into the world, you will sin countless times against a holy God, either by commission or omission, and the very moment you do, your fellowship is bruised. Don't wait for the next day's meeting to be called to order. Stop whatever you are doing, and ask God to forgive you. No one need know but you. In fact, no one should know but you. But the secret to power in the Christian life is the constant renewal of grace that comes when you confess your sins, and a God who is faithful and just to forgive those sins cleanses you of all unrighteousness. However, when we sin, and it is a whole day until we meet with God again, we tend to ignore it or enjoy it until the moment of reckoning comes. If we're really enjoying it, we may just happen to skip our time alone with God for a day or so until we're ready to confess.

That is quenching the grace of God. God has arranged free, unmerited cleansing for us at a moment's notice, and we deliberately choose to postpone appropriating that grace, either by specific choice or by willful apostasy. In either case, God is offended and we lose power. Begin practicing the process of immediate confession. If you offend someone, stop what you're doing and deal with it. If you offend God, stop what you're doing and deal with it. Grace greater than all your sin is yours for the taking; but unless you receive it, it's all for naught." (R. Kelfer)

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