Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Two Signs of a Grace-filled Church

Nairobi, Kenya

(Linda and I are in Queens, NYC, teaching Presence-Driven Leadership this week at Faith Bible Church and Faith Bible seminary.
Tonight we do our Relationships Seminar.
We had 100 Chinese youth and adults come to my seminar on How I Respond to Same-Sex Marriage.)

My church family is grace-saturated. I see this every week, in small and big ways. I am certain much more grace activity happens behinds the scenes, where only God sees. I constantly view the living out of mercy's triumph over judgment. How thankful I am that we are named "Redeemer." redemptive, bondage-breaking activity is happening all around me.

I really like what Max Lucado says about this in a CT interview. He is asked: What are some signs that a church is really living in grace and not by law?

Max responds:

"The spontaneous worship level of the church. Are people genuinely happy when they're there? I have a friend who says, "You can measure a husband by the face of his wife." And I think you can measure the amount of grace by the face of the church, just by their joy level. There's an energy. There's a simple contagious happiness there.

I think another outgrowth of grace is generosity. Jesus tells the parable of the man who was forgiven much and then demanded that the guy who owed him just a couple hundred bucks pay up. I think that's a picture of when grace did not work. This man thought he had worked the system instead of receiving grace. You counter that with the story of Zacchaeus; Jesus walked in his front door and greed walked out the back door; he wanted to give away half of what he owned. There's a picture of grace. It may be idealistic, but I really think that if we made grace a regular part of the church diet, we'd have happier people who are cheerful givers—and we wouldn't have to have so many campaigns on giving money."