How’s 2006 treating you?
We’re one week into 2006. So … how are you doing? Hanging in there with all those New Year’s resolutions? Diet going well? How’s the peaceful mind holding up? Are you depressed at a brand-new year or excited about the possibilities?Last week, I committed to live God’s “Fruit of the Spirit.” You know – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22). Great Attributes for the soul – hard to pull off driving in life’s circumstances. Truth is, in Week One, I’m not doing that great. Sure, I’d like to have that perfect score, and I would love to be patient and kind to everyone I meet. But I seem to fail when I try hard to be good.Fortunately, God’s plan for us is not about trying hard to be well-behaved little boys and girls; our Father realizes it’s impossible for us to achieve perfection by our own righteousness. Now, I know if you judge by those left-leaning atheists or the radical religious right, you get a sad, erroneous caricature of a God who is legalistic and angry with his creation, a God who either is not there or one who demands our best behavior – or else – instead of listening to pundits, ill-informed news people or bad theology, let’s look at the truth of God’s word:”It’s by grace you’ve been saved through faith – this is not from yourselves, it’s a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast,” Ephesians 2:8-9.”We have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ, not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified,” Galatians 2:16.The key to a successful, purposeful life is the discovery of freedom through God’s grace, not trying your hardest to be a good person. It’s not about your works, it’s all about God coming to you in the middle of life’s circumstances and loving you into the best heaven can offer! His grace through faith changes your character – his power shaping you into that beautiful masterpiece he created you to be!So, as you traverse life’s roundabouts, remember – it’s not about your “score” or how good you are. It’s all about God and his life-changing grace toward you. Why? Because … “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ,” Romans 8:1. Now that’s true grace.Vail, Colorado