Surprised by grace

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By Dave Henning / July 29, 2014

And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”- Luke 5:31-32

“The great and merciful surprise is that we come to God not by doing it right but by doing it wrong.”- Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs

Tullian Tchividjian notes in Chapter 5 of One Way Love that there is no more striking example in the Bible of God’s one-way love than in Jesus’ dealing with His disciples.  For example, Jesus interrupted Levi (Matthew) at the office with an invitation to follow Him.  When Levi threw a party for tax collectors and sinners, the Pharisees and scribes were quick to protest.

Pastor Tchividjian states that we are prone to do the same when something so flagrantly  irrational happens before our eyes.  Author Paul Zahl explains why we’re so surprised by grace:

“One-way love is inscrutable or irrational not only because it is out of relation with the intrinsic circumstances on the part of the receiver.  One-way love is also irrational because it reaches out to the specifically underserving person.  This is the beating heart of it.”

As Pastor Tchividjian astutely observes, we celebrate this undeserving aspect of God’s grace when it is directed our way, but hate it when it’s directed at our enemies.

Today’s question: How does seeing God’s grace reaching out to those “undeserving” people responsible for our ministry downsizing or vocation loss help us view them in a different light?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Breakfast on the beach”

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Dave Henning

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