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Grace Has a Face

July 7, 2010

The term “spiritual” is very popular in our society.  I hear people use it all the time, but often I don’t really know what they mean by it.  It sounds to me that they might mean that they are “deep” perhaps even “self-aware.”  I value reflection and I think self-awareness is a vital part of maturity.  However, I’m not sure that this will suffice in defining the word spiritual.

Even in the church we have developed “spiritual talk” that leads us to conclude that life in relationship to God is an encounter with an impersonal force.  The concept of God is thrown around like a rag doll.  We will talk about grace as if it is some state of nirvana and self acceptance.  Where is it found?  How do you get it?  Is there a formula or steps to take?  No wonder so many people struggle to grow spiritually.  Our spirituality has no meat to it.  Knowing God is an “other-world” sort of encounter and the Christian rubber never quite meets the road of our tangible lives. 

However . . .

Grace has a face.  Truth has a name.  Wisdom has an address.  Hope has a hand to hold.  Jesus is his name.  He is the “image of the invisible God” and the “Word become flesh.”  No longer do we have a spiritual life that lacks form.  With Jesus, God has a body.  Through him heaven meets earth so that we can have an “earthy” spirituality – one that encounters the Jesus of history.  Thank God for the four gospels so that we can have more than one facet on the face of grace.  Thank goodness that his life is recorded so that I can know what God’s “kingdom” looks like “on Earth as it is in Heaven.”  We can now see how God treats people, spends His time, what He loves, what He hates, and what He does.

Jesus is the protagonist of the Bible.  “all things were created through him and for him” (Col. 1:16).  That includes you.  There is no doctrine or topic related to God or the Bible more vital than the subject of Jesus.  God is like a house and the Bible gives us a snapshot inside that house through its windows.  But with Jesus we have the key to walk in the front door.  Let’s make Jesus supreme in our lives, churches, doctrine, worship, and mission.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Sandy permalink
    July 7, 2010 12:03 pm

    There would be a lot less heartache in life if only this were our primary goal. Why then is it some times so difficult to do?

  2. Todd permalink
    July 8, 2010 3:40 am

    A-MEN BROTHER!!! Preach it!

    As listed above:

    Where is it found? How do you get it? Is there a formula or steps to take? No wonder so many people struggle to grow spiritually. Our spirituality has no meat to it. Knowing God is an “other-world” sort of encounter and the Christian rubber never quite meets the road of our tangible lives.

    We are bombarded now more than ever in this technological age with gadgets, the media advertising the latest and hottest “idols” and craves that we lose heart of what God intended for us to be. If Jesus had to leave the “mind clutter” in His day and retreat to solitude, then why don’t we? Turn off the one eye monster (TV, Computer, I-Phone) and tune into Him through daily reading of the Bible and contemplative prayer. The Father will speak to you if you let Him.

    My personal philosophy in life is “let your recreation become your re-creation” and “seize the day by finding balance and LIVE”. As Bonhoeffer said in his book entitled, “The Cost of Discipleship”, there is first faith and then obedience. As a Christian, I had become lazy in my relationship with Christ. Over the past year and half through hardships and trials, I now know what Bonhoeffer meant.

    Embrace the “cross culture” and live it as what Jesus preached about at the “Sermon on the Mount”. I believe to grow closer to Him and to be a missionary (all followers of Jesus are), that first we must make it real in our lives and then in the lives of those around us. Perhaps this change in us through Him, will change the world!

  3. Robert permalink
    July 8, 2010 10:03 am

    Without Jesus we would be no different than anyone else in the world, living by all manner of ideas and views, and lost for eternity.

    This morning in our book study group, (currently studying “After You Believe… by N.T Wright” we asked the question “Is Jesus present in this room right now?” There was unanimous agreement, but a different way of expressing that understanding.

  4. don permalink
    July 10, 2010 10:01 am

    Right on Nathan—-eloquent, scriptural, practical and interesting.

  5. Bob permalink
    July 10, 2010 10:33 pm

    thank you my brother for teaching me that Jesus is the key.

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