Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Beauty of Grace

The school year is fast approaching. The "normal" Albuquerque group is returning in the next couple weeks. Some of the Nav boys are living right next door. I am working out details for my commute and my classes this fall. I am cleaning, cleaning, cleaning as the dust in New Mexico accumulates quickly in every crevice possible.

In the midst of logistical preparations, my heart remembers and dwells upon that which the Lord taught me over the summer. I look forward to this being a spring board to deeper growth as well as fellowship with the Body this upcoming fall as it was last year.

Conversations from last summer about love, joy, fellowship, and the glory of God were built upon throughout the duration of this past school year and were further burgeoned with my girls over the course of this summer. I praise God for the depths of who He is. He is infinite and thus we can continue to search and seek the depths of our Lord for all of our time on this earth and not reach the end of our great Creator.

This summer, though, as much as I planned on building upon that which the Lord taught me last summer, He had greater plans. He built upon last summer, providing the grasping of concepts I did not previously comprehend but He presented the understanding of a beautiful, age-old truth as well. I remember talking to Sarah last fall over blueberry pancakes at Flying Star about truth and grace. She asked, "Are you more of a 'truth' or 'grace' person?" After some thought, I soundly answered, "A truth person." I have a more difficult time understanding our God's great love, mercy and grace than His righteousness, justice and holiness. God possesses all of these qualities in perfect completion and He made that abundantly clear over the summer.

Every Wednesday morning, we had a lecture entitled, "Law Breakers" that waded through the book of Galatians. It drove home the idea of grace every week for me. It hammered it into my hard, dense head. It caused me to stand in awe of our God's grace that He pours upon His children moment by moment.

Grace--the theme of the summer. Grace. Our team operated on grace. It was a beautiful situation in which to find myself. It supplied the opportunity to pursue excellence in celebration of that which Christ has done for me rather than the drudgery that accompanies morality oftentimes. Celebration--my God has freed me to serve Him. He has taken away my chains of bondage--the chains that I cherished--forever. He has cleaned my wounds. He has loved me. And now He has set me before this world and has said, "LIVE! Live because I have freed you. Celebrate."

This grace is not dependent on anything that I do. It was taken care of on the cross 2,000 years ago. There is no expiration on grace. It is not dependent on how much I sin or how much excellence I actually achieve. It is dependent on my God and His sacrifice for me. Praise Him!

Quinton led worship throughout the summer. On Wednesday evenings, following evangelism, he would often say, "The gap caused by sin between God and man is infinite. This means His grace toward us is also infinite." Infinite grace! There is an ever flowing rushing river of grace toward me. Be amazed at such beauty! Stand in awe! Allow it to cause you to be awed again.

In the face of grace, the depth of my sin is even more disgusting. I sin because I am a sinner. It is innate and pervades every inch of my being. Apart from Christ, all I do is sin. His grace covers me. He has washed me clean. I am justified--He sees me as righteous!

Because His grace is infinite, I am able to enjoy Him. Ah, our God is a holy, loving, righteous, merciful, just, grace-giving Creator and the Body of Christ has the eternal future of being enraptured by Him forever and ever. Ah, what joy!


Alex said...

Lauren, this was a beautiful account the most prominent topic that I also came away with this summer. "Law-Breakers" was my favorite lecture because it lead me to a whole new understanding of salvation, grace, and Christ's beautiful love for me. Thank you for this encouraging post!

shine4Him said...

God's grace is truly a beautiful thing to behold and treasure. I praise God for His work in your heart... His grace was truly overflowing out of your life this summer and I can't express how thankful I am for your example over the course of 8 weeks. I can't help but read this and think of your "grace dance." =)

Rachelle said...

Lauren, this is beautiful! What a heartfelt expression of amazement over our great God, and His great grace! I am reminded of the hymn that finishes with these lines: "Grace, grace, God's grace -grace that will pardon and cleanse within. Grace, grace, God's grace -grace that is greater than all our sin."