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!