maddening grace

Love to read … usually I have always been in a couple of books at the same time. When my sister gave me a kindle a number of years back, that number of books began to rise until today I am usually in the midst of 6-8 books at any given time. And I thoroughly enjoy it!

Currently one of the books I am reading is One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World by Pastor Tullian Tchividjian (Two notes: Don’t ask me to pronounce his last name and don’t you just love the subtitle of the book?) For those of you not familiar with Pastor Tullian, he is the grandson of Billy Graham and the senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian (formerly led by Dr. James Kennedy til his passing in 2007). I have found Pastor Tullian to be a very spiritually insightful teacher and author and I enjoy reading his books and following his twitter account @PastorTullian

This morning as I was waiting for my blood work to be analyzed so they could process my CT scan and I could move on to Dunkin’ Donuts for my iced caramel coffee and donuts, I came across this interesting passage in Pastor Tullian’s One Way Love book. Read, consider and enjoy …

‘I’ll never forget hearing Dr. Doug Kelly (one of my theology professors in seminary) say in class, “If you want to make people mad, preach law. If you want to make them really, really mad, preach grace.” I didn’t know what he meant then. But I do now.’

‘The law offends us because it tells us what to do – and most of the time, we hate anyone telling us what to do. But ironically, grace offends us even more, because it tells us that there is nothing we can do, that everything has already been done. And if there is something we hate more than being told what to do, it’s being told that we can’t do anything, that we can’t earn anything – that we are helpless, weak , and needy.’

In my studies recently, I indeed keep running into the phrase, “I cannot … and only God can” and that ties in directly with what Pastor Tullian has written, ‘there is nothing I can do … I am helpless, weak, and needy.’ Truly coming to that realization and accepting it … no, embracing it … is the turning point at which the indwelling God Almighty fully accomplishes His transformational work IN and THRU us!

So this Easter season, I am celebrating the One who has already done everything … Christ Jesus be praised and glorified!!!

And praying for an embrace of the personal realization that I can do … nothing.

‘Apart from Me, you can do nothing.’ … the words of Jesus captured in John 15:5

Maddening grace … you gotta love it!



About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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3 Responses to maddening grace

  1. Huge “Aaaaaaaaa-men!”

  2. jimdavenport says:

    Perfect post for Resurrection day, Bernie! I was reminded of a favorite hymn that I l have sung since childhood. Only recently though have I fully understood what the hymn truly says. Here are the words of the first verse and the chorus that I recall from memory:

    I hear the Savior say,
    “Thy strength indeed is small.
    Child of weakness, watch and pray …
    Find in Me, thine ALL in ALL.”
    Jesus paid it ALL.
    ALL to Him I owe.
    Sin had left a crimson stain.
    He washed it white as snow.

    Praying for you right now my brother!


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