Monday, July 9, 2012

Grace and Law

This morning, as I awoke, I felt a stirring in my heart.  I understood right away, that the Lord had been speaking to me in my sleep.  I knew exactly what He was reminding me of, and it didn't leave me with the most settled feeling.  It felt more like He was showing me things that maybe, I didn't want to see and telling me things that, maybe, I didn't want to hear.  I knew that it was an exhortation and admonition from the Lord.

I focus a lot of my writing on the grace and tender mercies of God.  I do this because people tend to be so hard on themselves and on others.  The Lord wants us to see ourselves and others as He sees us.  He created us to be works in progress, ever growing and evolving in Him.  He knows we've not reached perfection, yet He loves us through all our mess.  That's why I write about His grace.

But God is not grace alone. There are 2 sides to God. He is grace and He is law. As Christians, we are to look to the Scriptures to get an understanding of how He wants us to live and to know what is sin and what is not. God's law is not to prevent us from enjoying life, but to keep us safe, keep us holy and help us remain pure and in fellowship with Him. Adherence to the Word of God does not put us in prison, contrary to what you might think.  It actually sets us free...free from conforming to the world's views of how we should act, think and live.

Our society would have us believe that we are to be tolerant and accepting of anything, "as long as no one gets hurt."  Christians are shamed and scoffed for calling sin, "sin".  While we are being chastised for being intolerant, we are one of the least tolerated groups that I am aware of.  But the Bible is clear on sin.  We can't say, "I am a Christian, but I'm only going to believe the Scriptures that make me feel good and I'm not going to espouse the Scriptures that make me or others feel uncomfortable."

Matthew 18:15-17 is very specific on how to deal with sin.  15 "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector."  This Scripture addresses one Christian dealing with another Christian who has sinned against them. It not only shows that we are to address sin, but that we are not to be doormats when someone is sinning against us.  It shows us how we can address the sin, without attacking the person.  And just remember, if we adhere to this way of handling sin, we just might be the one who others have to confront.  There will be times when someone has to come to us and let us know that we have sinned against them!

Now, having said all that, remember...I'm a grace person.  I write about grace and mercy almost every time I sit down to write.  So don't jump on me here and say that I'm being judgmental.  These are the things that the Lord was speaking to my heart as I slept last night.  He wanted me to remind my readers of the "law" side of Him.

We are not to label people, we are to label sin!  I recently read a post by Cathy Morton, in which she asked "Do you label others before you know their truth?" This statement resonated with me, because it's exactly how I try to live my life.  I fail miserably at times, judging and labeling a person without trying to understand what their story is or where they are coming from.  But I can say that I am learning more and more, everyday, to see people and love them, as the Lord sees and loves them.

Don't ever forget about God's grace and mercy towards you!  But don't forget about His law either.  Walk out each day, spending time with Him, getting to know how He would have you live.  Be quick to repent when you know you have sinned and receive forgiveness and cleansing!  Be sure to extend that forgiveness towards those who have hurt you, as well.




From His Lap,



32 comments:

  1. Hi Erin ~ I like this post. Grace and mercy are what we all like to think of but, you are right and we need to remember that's not all there is to it. Sometimes we need a reminder. Thank you for doing that. Extending forgiveness to others...I have just had a hard lesson in that this past week. It's not always easy but we have to. Sorry this comment is so long. You just struck a chord with me I guess! Blessings Erin...Chelle

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    1. Chelle, you always bless me! I see you striving to be a daughter of the King in everything that you say. He loves your heart! You are right, forgiveness isn't easy, of others or of ourselves. We can do it with His strength!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  2. i love what you said about not knowing someone's story. my friend and i were just talking about that today. and this is the second post i've ready today talking about that subject. :) must be on a lot of minds. you have such a big heart, erin. thank you for sharing your nuggets of truth. love visiting your site.
    hope you and your family had a wonderful fourth and are enjoying the summer. <3
    xoxo
    maria

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    1. Maria, we had a wonderful 4th. I hope you and Steve did, as well. Isn't it funny how God puts things on our hearts and then uses other people to confirm what He's saying to us!
      I love when you visit here!
      Hugs!
      ~Erin

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  3. This post reminds me of 2 things. The story that says, "He who is without sin shall cast the first stone." second, my mom always told us, "love the person, not necessarily what they do." Nicely written post.

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    1. Gina, it sounds like your mom was a wise person. You are right! We should take the log out of our own eye before we talk about the speck in someone else's! Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  4. I always need to remember to forgive. It's definitely not easy at times, but it should be done. Great post Erin. xo

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    1. Becky, it's not ever easy for me!!! LOL! Thanks so much for your kind words and for visiting here.
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  5. Very inspiring post. Forgiveness of ourselves and others is so important in healing and moving on from life's challenges.

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    1. Thank you, Valerie! Forgiving is the key to healing and moving on! We get stuck and bitter without it, don't we!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  6. It's Great To Believe In Something Greater Then Us ! Anna

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    1. Anna, yes it is!!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  7. God must really want to remind His people of this truth right now - this was precisely the message at church last week!

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    1. Audra, two other people have told me the same thing. God wants us all to understand and receive His grace but He also wants us to follow his commands...and they all lead to one thing...love!
      Thank you for visiting!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  8. "We are not to label people, we are to label sin!"
    This is so true! All too often we leave behind the person and focus completely on the sin. most people already know the sin. what they need from us is love and grace and not judgment. I have spoken with several people who have said that the reason they don't go to church anymore is there wasn't that love and open arms like Jesus, but an overwhelming sense of judgment and condemnation. so very sad. imagine how different it would be if we welcomed and loved on all those who are lost like the prodigal son's father did. thanks for sharing this!

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    1. Oh, that is so sad, Wendy. Look at the folks Jesus hung out with. He was so loving and merciful. That's why those people were able to turn from their sin! Thank you so much for sharing. You are a blessing!
      ~Erin

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  9. Hi Erin; great post! It's always a comfort to know that when I stumble, God is there to pick me up. However, even with this assurance of His grace, I know I must make every effort to realize the seriousness of my sin, and not make any excuses for careless living. Likewise, I strive to constantly monitor the effects that my behavior has on others, and to be sensitive to their needs. The right way to interact with others is to be aware of one another; aware and considerate of their flaws and mistakes, and as you said .....not to label them!

    Blessings and hugs Erin!
    Denise

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    1. Denise, I like that, "careless living." You are so right about constantly monitoring our behavior towards others. Thanks so much for sharing your nugget of truth! I love it!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  10. Good Evenin' Erin,
    Yes, I've been praying Psalm 16:7 most nights before bed... "I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. So, I smiled as I read that He taught you the other night. :) Through the power of the living Spirit of God within us, may HE reveal and heal us! Keep sharin' sister! I find you to be wise and graceful! ~ Blessings from Maine, Amy Alves

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    1. Your kind words always bless me so much, Amy! I love when you stop by my little blog! Isn't it wonderful that He teaches us even when we are resting!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  11. This is absolutely beautiful, and beyond well written. Thanks so much for sharing. Your site is filled with wisdom. Thank you for that as well -- keep writing!!!

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    1. James, you are so kind. Thank you very much for your encouragement. I have to keep writing because it's what's in my heart to do! You are a blessing!
      ~Erin

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  12. wow, beautifully written post from your heart to ours xo

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  13. Love this topic Erin. Mercy and Justice go hand in hand. I think that a lot of the time we cry for mercy when we do something wrong, and yet scream for justice when we are wronged.

    The Savior is the perfect example of mercy and justice.

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    1. Ohhh, that was good, Becky! I love it. Thanks so much for putting it that way. There's no mistaking that!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  14. HI Erin. I am so happy I ran across your blog. What you posted is absolute truth. So happy that the Lord is revealing this to the body.. The word sin and repent is foreign and sometimes upsetting to even many Christians. People are sometimes in the mindset that once we repent that is it. Game over. We are saved and off to heaven. The truth is that we need to be in a constant state of repentance. This is so good.. Thank you
    God Bless

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    1. Kristin, that's a good word! We are to live victoriously in THIS life, not just trying to slide into heaven. I'm so glad you ran across my blog too, because you blessed me!
      ~Erin

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  15. Hi Erin - this is such a great truth. Its hard to reconcile grace and law sometimes but with Christ they compliment each other. Same with "the law does not save you, but because you are saved you want to do the law"
    God bless friend, thank you for these precious words to start my week
    Tracy

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    1. Tracy, it seems like years ago, the Church went through a "law" phase. For about 20 yrs, it has been going through a "grace" phase. I think it's time for the pendulum to swing back to the middle and teach about both God's grace and law!
      Thank you so much for your kind words.
      Blessings, sweet friend!
      ~Erin

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  16. This was very good post. We as people are hard on each other. I know that I am extremely hard on myself and I wish I wasn't. I wish I had the strength to over come some of the fears that hold me back in my life and in my faith. I glad I check in here today. sometime God send you a message when you least expect it.

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    1. Aw, I'm glad the Lord ministered to you through this post. I think we are all extremely hard on ourselves and on others. We just need to ck our behavior and our attitudes, make sure that we are walking in love, and live the lives that He has called us to live! I'm so glad you stopped by!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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