“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:37-38
One of the great questions with which you will have to wrestle as a disciple of Jesus and a child of the great King is the harmonious relationships between God’s grace and your efforts.
We know it is by His grace (i.e. kindness or generosity) that we are saved (see Acts 15:11 & Ephesians 2:8), and that is a beautiful reality! Not only is it true that we don’t have to work our way to eternal life, it’s also true that we can’t. No matter what a mortal human or immortal angel does, eternal life is not something that will ever be owed to us. How can anyone make God so indebted to them? If God was determined to keep eternal life out of our reach, no matter how many good things we did or bad things we avoided, eternal life would never be ours. It is His to give, and only He can give it. The absolute wonder is that He wants to give it to His creation, and, so, we can have it!
As true as this is, we must not neglect the clear truth of what our Master and His apostles taught us: our decisions and actions are enormously consequential for ourselves and so many others. Our lives, as eternal beings who are the images of God, are powerful in God’s world. Because of how much power we possess to affect God’s world, He takes very seriously the kind of people we are and the choices we make. What we do reveals who we are (just as fruit reveals the nature of a tree), and God will deal with us based on who we really are.
Remember, Disciple, that God is building an eternal Kingdom that He intends to fill with those who are like His only unique Son (see Romans 8:28-29). Those who are unforgiving won’t fit into His Kingdom; they will corrupt it. Those who are condemning and judgmental won’t fit either. Those who are generous, who pursue the best of others, who give freely of themselves in genuine compassion – these are the kinds of people who belong in the Kingdom our Father is building. These aren’t people who deserve the Kingdom forever, but they do belong there.
I encourage you to live this day, Disciple, as someone who has a future in God’s Kingdom of grace. This is why our Master is determined to shape us to be people who are full of grace and who lavish it on others. No matter what others may say or do to you, remember that you remain a child of God with a breathtaking destiny. Live in that truth and know true peace as you extravagantly live out His generosity to all.
Receiving and showing grace with you,