Monday, September 14, 2015

TRANSFORMED BY GRACE by Gary Wilkerson

Throughout His ministry, Jesus was asked two kinds of questions by the people He encountered, questions that revealed everything about the hearts of those asking. The first type of question was accusatory. Time after time, religious leaders asked Christ, “Why do You eat and drink with sinners? How could You be sent by God with a reputation like that?”

The second kind of question came from people bearing the problems of life: “Would You heal my sick daughter? Would You deliver my son who is being thrown into the fire by demons? Would You heal my issue with bleeding, which has plagued me my whole life? Jesus, would You help me?”

Do you see the difference between the two kinds of questions? Both seek an answer about the nature of God. The first asks, “Do sinners deserve God’s love?” while the second asks, “Does God want to help me?”

Jesus answered both questions with His actions. First, He transformed the outcasts, bringing them from the farthest margins of society to the very center of God’s love. He told them, “You are on center stage now. You’re at the very heart of My Father’s kingdom.” Second, Christ revealed that the accusers were not at the center of God’s kingdom. He told them very clearly, “You have no say in My Father’s kingdom.”

Do you want a meaningful, significant role in God’s kingdom? Then be willing to lay down your stones and pick up the cross of His grace. Every time you act as Jesus did, extending grace to those marginalized by sin, you take part in a great transformation. You will be changed by your actions, the accused will be changed, and those accusing will be changed. Meanwhile, passive believers will be stirred by the manifestation of God’s grace.

May we all become His army of grace—drawing to His kingdom the addicted and the clean-living, the grieving and the carefree, the poor and the wealthy, the lonely and the lively. Let every soul be loved and belong, and may we all be transformed by the amazing grace of our Savior.