For as long as I have been in the ministry I have asked the Lord for a balance between a tender heart and a tough hide. It isn't an easy balance. In fact, the latter is more difficult to cultivate than the former.
Can you minister grace to people who don’t inspire you to acts of kindness? Let me suggest a good beginning. Stoop down and embrace them. Love that reaches up is adoration. Love that reaches out is compassion. But love that stoops is grace.
We must tell the truth...in love. Confronting is not the same as criticizing. Be careful of using the truth like a battering ram to force the pastor to change. You don’t want the confrontation to turn into a power struggle.
Without becoming needlessly academic, I want to define a term that I've been tossing around. What do I mean when I declare that the Christian has liberty? Essentially, liberty is freedom... freedom from something and freedom to do something.
Who else could He be? There is no one else qualified to grant forgiveness but Jesus. There is no one other than Christ who will stay closer to you when everyone or everything is stripped from you.
We want to be right (as we see it, of course) more than we want to love our neighbours as ourselves. At that point our personal preferences eclipse any evidence of love. I am of the firm conviction that where grace exists, so must various areas of grey.
What exactly is worship? And is it all that rare? In 1961, while he was speaking to the pastors of the Associated Gospel Churches of Canada, the late A. W. Tozer said that worship “is the missing jewel in modern evangelicalism.”
Grace can mean unmerited favour—extending special favour to someone who doesn’t deserve it, who hasn’t earned it, and who can never repay it. Every once in a while, we come across a scene in Scripture and we stand amazed at such amazing grace.
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