Saturday, December 25, 2010
HIS GRACE (from my new book)
The early morning air was brisk. The slight cold wind bit into my face. At first I thought it was a small lake but as I looked further I realized it was more like a long canal. Hundreds of well-dressed people were skating. They had on proper winter attire and seemed oblivious to most of those around them. Smiles covered their cold faces and they looked very content. I stood on the shore not even on the ice and hadn't quite realized that Jesus himself was standing next to me being perfectly silent. He wasn't looking at me but watching the many people on the ice.
Most of the skaters seem to be going around and around and staying in their own little area. A few seemed to take off down the canal towards a big castle far away. I'm not sure if it was a castle or just a very large estate but even from this great distance it looked very majestic.
Jesus still hadn't spoken at this point and seemed to be waiting for me to notice things. Every time I looked at His face He seemed to be studying something out on the ice that I hadn't noticed. I looked to see what He was looking at. Along the shore I noticed some very perplexed looking people crawling on all fours and had no skates on at all. It looked very strange since they seemed to be acting like the ice could break at any moment and they were going to be ready. Their faces certainly didn't look content like the skaters. They were on the ice but they seem to stay as close to the edge as possible where the ice was thickest.
In the center there was another group of people who were almost the exact opposite of those who stayed close to the shore. They were jumping up and down on the ice as if trying to break through. They seemed somewhat arrogant and sure of themselves. I almost wondered if they were trying to make everyone fall in. What was funny about this group is that they also seemed to have no peace about them and did not seem content like the skaters.
It was then I heard a loud crack. The group in the middle had somehow managed in their jumping up and down to create a crack in the ice. They did not flinch at the loud cracking sound at all but it was the skaters and those along the shore that responded to the loud crack. The skaters jumped and their happy faces turned to worry. Yet they still continued to skate. The ones crawling on all fours near the shore jumped off the ice and onto the shore.
I was perplexed by what I saw and I turned to Jesus hoping He would open up my eyes. He responded quickly.
“You asked Me to help you understand My grace and today I have granted that request", He said softly. “The ice you see before you is like My grace. It is strong enough to support you and if you follow it along the canal it will take you into the kingdom. Those you see along the shore crawling on all fours are those who have an understanding of My grace but have a greater fear of My judgment”.
I saw myself in those people in the early days of my walk with God. I have seen God's judgments in my life and it caused me to walk on eggshells fearing God could rebuke me at any moment. I had no peace in that time that I walked in fear.
Jesus then spoke again. “Those in the middle who are jumping up and down on the ice are those who are abusing My grace. They think they can do what they want in this world and I will never bring judgment to them but their end will come quickly and they will discover how cold the water is that lies below them. Grace only has value when there is a threat of judgment. And they have forgotten My judgments.”
I immediately knew whom He meant. I have discovered in my walk people who come from the cheap grace movement. Many of the people I have met were involved in all kinds of sin and debauchery and had no fear of God's judgment at all. Often when I quoted a Scripture to them of God's judgments in the New Testament, blank stares would come over their faces and they would walk away. They did not seem to understand the bad doctrine they were embracing and many of these people adopted other New Age doctrines.
Jesus interrupted my thoughts. “The contented skaters are those that have a balanced view of My true grace. They understand that My grace came to them at a great cost and that cost was paid on the cross. They don't abuse it with frivolous indulgences but walk in holiness instead respecting my grace. They know the ice is firm enough to hold them and they can skate freely to their destination as long as they obey the rules. They don't live in fear of God's judgments because they've separated themselves from the world and remain pure before Him”.
HEB 10:26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
JNH 2:8 "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.