On a recent Sunday, we shared a message on our freedom in grace based on Jesus saying, “My yoke is easy (gracious, kind) and My burden is light.” For me, and I think for the church, it was a definitive message. It was a message that has been marinating for over a year, or perhaps much longer.
If there is anything other than an easy yoke or a light burden in my Christian walk, then something is not right. How much obligation or guilt is there that drives me in the things that I do or even endure? Am I living before men or before God? Ephesians 6:6 says that we are “not men-pleasers, but servants (doulos) of the will of God from the heart”.
What a great truth. But is it true in the lives of every Christian? I know it’s something God has been teaching me personally this past year. It’s so healthy to consider grace in our lives and also the lack thereof. Even in our churches there may be many
We go to church, not because of duty, guilt, obligation, but because of faith that works by love. Click To Tweet
healthy initiations, such as Bible school, raps, outreach, missions trips, conferences and many others things, but those same things can become subtle standards by which people measure themselves by. We might consider a Bible school graduate a valuable disciple in the church, but a mother who struggles to get to church as someone who just attends. What a horrible conclusion to make. Judging people based on programs.
How about “They will know you are my disciples by your love”? But grace must be grace. People are free. When we see someone in church, someone might think “where have they been?” But how about genuinely loving them and rejoicing to see them, with no critique or question? A pastor might step in the pulpit with the mind that the people are wrong, and it’s his job to correct them. How about seeing people through the eyes of grace and assuming they are right and addressing them as new creations in Christ? Are people living under obligation in their service or with a sense of freedom and privilege? What does our church culture allow or cultivate. What is the mindset we have adopted towards people? Healthy heart searching thoughts. Are we free? Are we free to, and also free not to? We go to church, not because of duty, guilt, obligation, but because of faith that works by love.
God bless us all in 2016, going forward in the liberty of grace.
Pastor Graham King