These days, it seems like everybody wants to own the latest and greatest. The computer that changed the entire computing world just three or four years ago is nearing obsolescence now. The technology that revolutionized the music world in the last generation gave us CDs. Now, those are virtually archaic, as this generation can put thousands of songs on an iPod less than a quarter of the size of just one CD. It used to be cool to change the radio station with the push of a button on the steering wheel. Now, all you have to do is ask politely. Certainly, any lady whose husband is an avid golfer can tell you how often golf club technology improves. “Here today and gone tomorrow” has never been more of a reality.
Now, please don’t misunderstand my intentions here. I have nothing against change. In fact, I embrace it. In some ways, nothing says progress more than technology. Just think about it for a minute. Do you remember when the only time you could talk on the phone was when it was attached to the wall with a wire? Or what about when it used to take five days to get the film developed so you could see your family Christmas pictures? I’m sure that we can all agree that life is better with digital cameras and cell phones. In fact, you can’t even find a cell phone nowadays without a digital camera built in! Progress is definitely good, but there is one area that we, as believers, need to make sure we keep the same.
My grandfather was a country boy from Kentucky and he had a saying. He used to say that you have to “dance with who brung ya.” You see, it’s not very polite for a young lady to go to the high school dance with a nice young man and then not have the courtesy to dance with him! Unfortunately, that very thing happens where the grace of God is concerned in the Christian world. God’s grace is His unearned, undeserved, unmerited favor. It is actually His ABILITY that empowers you to achieve what you could not by yourself. If you have received Jesus as Lord of your life, you have, by His sacrifice, been perfectly changed from the inside out (Hebrews 10:14). Your spirit has been reborn and you are now an heir of God and a joint-heir with your big Brother, Jesus (Romans 8:17). The wonderful thing about all of this is that there is nothing that you could have done to earn it or deserve it. Why? Because your rescue was all because of God’s GRACE! Ephesians 2:8 says that is the way that you were saved to begin with.
Sadly, in most churches these days, the new birth is where the role of God’s grace tragically ENDS. See if the following story sounds familiar. Billy got saved one Sunday morning and everything was awesome for a while. He felt God’s love in his life and every time he prayed, it seemed as if God heard him. Life was amazingly exciting! Then, some weeks or months after that first “experience”, everything changed. Billy didn’t feel that joy and peace anymore and he lost interest in reading the Word or spending time in prayer. So, he went to his pastor for some advice. Pastor Jones told Billy that when he was first saved, he was a baby Christian and God did those special things for him because he needed it. You know, since he was a spiritual baby. Now, God expects him to grow, mature, and stand on his own two feet.
That sure sounds good on the surface, but it could not be FURTHER from the truth! In reality, it is that very line of thinking that is paralyzing the church. You see, our need for God’s grace does not stop at the new birth. We are to live our entire lives, empowered with His very ability. If we don’t, we are only left with our ability, which everyone can agree is infinitely inferior to His. In Galatians 3:3, we see that we are supposed to finish the way we began: with the Holy Spirit’s help and not reliant on our own self effort. Colossians 2:6 encourages us to walk in Christ the same way we received Him: by His grace. Don’t be enticed by the latest and greatest thing you think you can DO to run your race faster, just “dance with who brung ya” and you’ll live life as the victor you have been made to BE in Christ!
Today’s Word Study: Galatians 3:1-7