Summary: Is life simply a matter of taking what comes and learning to live with it? Although there is some of that in the human experience; God has not left us without options.
Dakota Community Church
February 03, 2008
There are many things over which we have no control what-so-ever in this life. Most things in fact I would say. We have no control over when, where, or to whom we are born.
We have no control over the other people in our lives, though many of us foolishly spend a lifetime trying to gain some measure of it. For the most part we do not control the economy, and anyone from Winnipeg knows we are completely powerless to control the weather.
So is life simply a matter of taking what comes and learning to live with it? For sure there is some of that in the human experience; however God has not left us without options.
1. We choose: grace or performance.
With God, with each other and with ourselves… do you play the performance game?
I know people who do not hold themselves to any kind of behavioral accountability, if you are called to serve then serve, that’s not what I am talking about here.
Some people beat themselves up over not being good enough all the time, it is never enough, they are constantly seeking approval through their works and they are their own harshest critic.
You have to be able to do your best and then let it go if that isn’t enough.
You have to be able to hear what God is saying to do and then just do that.
The New Testament reveals that the early church was very focused on this concept of grace, in most of his letters Paul begins with the standard Christian greeting of the day:
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.
To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul chooses these words as the starting point of almost all of his correspondence with believers, what if that is how we are all supposed to do it. What if the first thing we did was remind each other of the place we now have in Christ?
Grace is unearned favor, it is the free expression of God’s love, it is the joy, pleasure, and gratification that we receive in Christ with no strings attached.
Imagine if we greeted each other in this way, “Hey how’s it going, remember; grace and peace are yours from God and from me.”
How would we ever have church splits or wounded believers if we treated each other in this way?
Now here is the crunch, we choose to live this way or not.
Do you choose grace or performance in your relationship with God?
Do you choose grace or performance when dealing with others?
Read Galatians 4:21-31
But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son
2. We choose: peace or strife.
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Now I have to be honest with you I love all these end times theologians and authors. I’m not one, I don’t lose sleep over how things will turn out, I am a child of God so where is and what He’s doing I will be there, I am in the “Body”, I won’t be left behind. I still love those end time books and movies though!
Here is the part that always gets me in scripture, “men’s hearts failing them from fear.”
I see that like never before in history as a marker of our times.
We have the option to choose peace.
To receive it.
To speak it to each other.
Peace is harmony and every kind of good.