(Here's a terrific post from author and friend, Steve McVey, who wrote the foreword to my book. If this doesn't impress you and pick you up, you'll want to check your pulse. Well, at least I think it should. For more from Steve, visit him here or here.)
The grace of God stands in a category all by itself. There’s nothing to compare with it because there’s nothing else like it in time or eternity. Grace is expression of the complete goodness of Pure Love toward those who have done nothing and never can do anything to deserve it or reciprocate for it. Either grace is a unilateral act or it’s not grace. The minute we think we owe anything for it, we have insulted both the gift and the giver. Those who spend their lives “trying to pay Him back for all He has done for me” will spend a lifetime unwittingly insulting the One they most want to please.
Religion is the greatest enemy of grace because it exists in a culture where the currency of survival is performance. Religion nurtures a detestable fetish in its carnal craving to “pay the price, breakthrough, storm the gates” and other such nonsense that excites the flesh in ways that arouse demonic lust that climaxes in the smug afterglow of a satisfied Pharisee.
Grace throws parties for returning prodigals without saying a word about their sins. Grace pays everybody the same regardless of what time of day they began to work. Grace restores dignity to whores that everybody else wants to stone. Grace hugs the diseased leper (or AIDS patient) that nobody else wants to touch. Grace looks past a person’s behavior and sees the person for who they are in the eyes of God.
Grace is irrational to the thinker. It is unfair to the judge. Grace is foolishness to the achiever. It is a waste to the selfish. Grace is a mistake to the disciplinarian. It is shame to the religionist.
But it is a stream of water to the thirsty. It’s freedom to the imprisoned. It is life to the dead. Grace is rest to the tired. It is another chance to the failed. It is hope to the despondent. It is a way out for the lost and a way in for those who can see the Door.
Grace. It’s not a theological premise. It’s not a doctrine. It’s not a philosophy. It’s not something to be balanced with anything else. It’s not even the most important thing. It’s The One Thing – The Only Thing. It’s a Person – a Person who has held you in His heart before the first molecule existed and One who will never let you go.