Gratitude for Grace

A man walked into the doctor’s office and said, “Doctor, I have this awful headache that never leaves me. Could you give me something for it?

“I will,” said the doctor, “but I want to check a few things out first. Tell me, do you drink a lot of liquor?”
“Liquor?” said the man indignantly. “I never touch the filthy stuff.”
“How about smoking?”
“I think smoking is disgusting, I’ve never in my life touched tobacco.”
“I’m a bit embarrassed to ask this, but—you know the way some men are–do you do any running around at night.”
“Of course not. What do you take me for? I’m in bed every night by ten o’clock at the latest.”
“Tell me,” said the doctor, “the pain in the head you speak of, is it a sharp, shooting kind of pain?”
“Yes,” said the man. “That’s it–a sharp shooting kind of pain.”
“Simple, my dear fellow! Your trouble is you have your halo on too tight. All we need to do is loosen it a bit.”

The trouble with our ideals is that if we live up to all of them, we become impossible to live with.
The tilted halo of the saved sinner is worn loosely and with easy grace. We have discovered that the cross accomplished far more than revealing the love of God. The blood of the Lamb points to the truth of grace: what we cannot do for ourselves, God has done for us. Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

Jesus shattered all the carefully constructed societal class structures of His day. He ate with undesirables and sinners; He blessed children who had absolutely no rights whatsoever in first century Palestine, they were almost like non-people; and He readily engaged in open conversations with women, another breaking with tradition. In doing so He recieved much criticism from the religious leaders of the day. By those same actions, He opened the gateway for Grace….

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:15,16

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