Summary: Finishing our Grace series, We talk about the importance of sharing and spreading God's grace with others.
Grace Series (Final)
Coulee Community Church, 8-25-19
There is a Chinese saying that on the surface seems pretty innocent, but when you break it down, it’s actually a curse.
“May you live in interesting times”
The idea focuses on the word “interesting” meaning in order to interesting, you have to have something that is very tumultuous or worrisome, or so confusing that you have to devote a lot of your time to find meaning or truth in what is happening.
You and I are now living in interesting times.
We live in a day and age where truth is a word that has lost it’s meaning in our culture. Instead of truth being something verifiable, provable, and trustworthy, the concept of truth has been relegated to an individual opinion regardless of what is factual.
It’s one of the main reasons our country is in such crisis.
We don’t know what is true anymore.
All news media tells us are slanted stories about what is going on. There is little to no journalistic integrity anymore- it’s all about who can get the biggest headline with the most salacious story first, even if it turns out to be a lie.
What that has done in our culture is to produce a divide between those of us who are more liberal in our thinking and those of us who are more conservative in our thinking.
Whenever we get challenged as humans we react defensively and build walls.
What most of us have done in our world is build a huge wall around our opinions, calling it truth, and refusing to talk to those who don’t believe as we do.
Instead, we lob our truth grenades over our walls at each other hoping that they cause us to change our minds.
This is not what God desires for you and me, or anyone on this earth.
God doesn’t want our source of truth to be Fox News, or CNN, or MSNBC, or even our local newspaper.
God wants to be our source of truth.
You’ve heard me say this over and over, but Truth is reality as seen through God’s eyes.
You can’t get a better expert on what is true than the God who sees all, knows all, and can do all.
The opening of John’s gospel reminds us of this and of what is special about Jesus.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
This morning, in the final week of our four-week series on God’s grace, we should learn from Jesus about the power of a message spoken in grace, peace, and truth.
Within this movement called Christianity, there seems to be two camps of people.
One side emphasize grace.
The other side emphasizes truth.
But Jesus showed us that apart from grace, we cannot really speak the truth, and apart from the truth, we are not really speaking words of grace. They are intertwined with each other and dependent on each other.
The peace and blessing of God comes when grace and truth are joined. And in Jesus, we see our perfect example.
Looking at verse 16 in John 1
The New Revised Standard version quotes it this way
“From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16 NRSV).
However, NIV substitutes “one blessing after another” for “grace upon grace.” Why do I bring this up?
I believe John was searching for a way to communicate that God’s grace is multi-layered.
CS Lewis said it this way- - John 1:16 means to come “farther up and farther in.”
The danger of our modern understand of grace is this-
When we limit grace to merely a ticket to heaven, there is no farther up and farther in, either in this life or the next.
In other words, why come to the shores of God’s grace only to dip our toes in the ocean?
You don’t understand an ocean by reading about it in books.
You can’t experience the majesty of an ocean through a documentary on TV.
When I first saw an ocean, I just didn’t just drive by and glance.
I didn’t stay in the parking lot. I got out of the car
I didn’t stay on the pavement, I walked on the beach watching the waves come in and smell the salty air.
Then to experience it firsthand I took off my shirt my shirt and sandals and dove in.
That’s how you and I should approach the grace of God.
We can’t just come to church, punch our spiritual timecard and think we have experienced what God’s grace is all about.