Yesterday, I helped my daughter pack her things to move out of an apartment in Charlotte. We went through all her belongings, boxed up some, and discarded many others. It took us 7 hours to process her possessions through the sieve of what remained important and what needed to be tossed.
We are called to do the same in our spiritual lives . . . to hold on to the truth, what remains relevant and important . . . and to throw out the lies, distractions and other junk.
Jesus made a point about doing so when He said, “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins” (Mark 2:21-22, NIV).
He was making a reference to the gospel, that God in His lovingkindness chose to send Jesus to save us from our sins. The Lord was doing something new. Man’s old system of working to earn God’s approval under the Law was being tossed, replaced by grace. What man could not do, God did—sending Jesus to take care of the sin problem. The two systems cannot exist together (grace and works). One has to go.
Toss the Works
Any time we find ourselves thinking our worth is based on our performance or feeling condemned because of something we have done, that’s the old system of works. It needs to be tossed. We are not under works but under grace. The Law with its rules and regulations was never meant to be an end in and of itself. It was designed to make us realize we need Jesus (Romans 3:20, Galatians 3:24-25). Jesus met the requirements of the Law. He was the only One who could.
Live in Grace
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NASB). God decided to lavish His favor on us through Jesus, not because of anything we did to earn it. He chose to love us. Period. He still does. His magnificent love led to His magnificent sacrifice on our behalf. Since He paid so great a price to give us His grace, we need to hold onto it and live in it, never tossing it aside, always taking it with us. He has given us His Holy Spirit to help us do that.
My daughter will be moving to Raleigh to attend graduate school in the fall. All the boxes we filled and placed in our attic will be going with her then. I will be praying she also takes and lives in the grace of God during this new season of her life.
May we all do the same in whatever season we find ourselves.
Question: How do you keep yourself aware of the grace of God? Comment at the link below.
Susan Jane King