Church, Musings, Romans

Living Grace Filled Lives

Romans 2:1-5 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who do such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man–you who judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself–that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. (ESV)

God’s grace is amazing–beyond what any hymn can state.

Living a grace filled life has at least two sides.

First, learning to accept and appreciate God’s grace toward us.

A grace that is abundant–it can’t be exhausted.
A grace that extends and covers all our weaknesses and sins.
A grace that guarantees love and acceptance in spite of our failings.
A grace that comforts us with the truth we can do nothing to make God love us less–nor can we do anything to make Him love us more.

Amazing, Astounding, Awesome–Actual Grace.

But second, learning to live a grace filled life requires us to look at others and live with others with grace. To extend to others the same spirit of grace that God extends to us

A grace that is abundant–that doesn’t count the wrongs committed (Matthew 18:21-35), that keeps no record of wrong. (1 Corinthians 13:5)
A grace that extends and covers weakness and sin–for love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
A grace that guarantees love and acceptance in spite of our failings–for we all stumble in many ways. (James 3:2)
A grace that comforts others with the truth that God’s love doesn’t change and we will remain faithful.

If we don’t live grace filled lives we are treating God grace, love, kindness, mercy and patients with contempt.

It’s like say to God–I only value you and your character when it is applied to me. That reminds me of Jonah after God forgave a repentant Nineveh.

Jonah 4:1-2 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2 And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. (ESV)

Notices verse 3. Jonah makes a great statement about the character of God being gracious, merciful, slow to anger, steadfast in love and relenting of punishment–awesome, amazing grace. But to Jonah that was negative because it was a grace displayed towards someone else.

May we live grace filled lives that extend the grace we have been sown, liberally on others.

May we be patient, kind, and merciful to those who disagree with us and with those who dress differently than we do. To those who annoy us or interfere with our plans or want to consume our time, may we extend grace and love.

May the church be grace filled.

Author: Steve

Steve Kilgore joined the staff of Calvary Church in Lancaster, PA in the fall of 2002 as the Pastor of Discipleship to facilitate the equipping ministries, which include Adult Bible Fellowship and other adult discipleship ministries, and work with the rest of the education ministries. He currently serves as the Executive Pastor of Ministries with a focus on providing ministries that facility individuals taking intentional Next Steps for growing and participating in the leadership and administrative aspect at Calvary. He has also taught part-time at Lancaster Bible College in the area of Spiritual Formation and New Testament. Prior to coming to Calvary he served in two churches as well as taught part-time at Philadelphia Biblical University. He was born in Dallas, Texas, but spent the first 13 years of his life in Guatemala where his parents were missionaries. It was there at the age of four and a half that Steve placed his faith in Christ as his Savior. Steve received a Bachelor’s degree in Bible from Philadelphia College of Bible and a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Steve and his wife, Mary Anne, have their two boys, Andrew and Nathan (both in college), and live in East Lampeter Township. Steve lives and ministers by the personal motto, Know what you believe and why, live it, be able to defend it. His hobbies, other than playing with his family, include tinkering with computers, reading, drinking coffee with his wife, playing and watching basketball. Steve and Mary Anne are looking forward to exploring new hobbies as they transition to life as empty-nesters.

3 Comments on “Living Grace Filled Lives

  1. OK. We have identified a (the) problem. Now what?
    How do we get other to see this issue?
    How do we demonstrate the solution?
    How do we teach the solution?
    How do we hold people accountable to it?

  2. Maybe we should flip the coin over and act as if the ones who need to be taught are already masters. COnsider the following idea.

    The “olders” will not go out and find folks to mentor/teach. We know that from what they have told us. We also know that they will do exactly what we ask them to do when we ask them to do it. So, how about this…we assign “olders” to mentor their replacements.

    I’m guessing that this is an infintesimal step…but, it would close the generation gap if even for a moment..

    I think this might be worthy of a try.

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