I sure want to be…yes, filled and controlled by Christ's Spirit!
"We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only Son who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." ~John 1:14, niv
"For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." ~John 1:17
As a parent of three boys I did my best to balance grace and truth in the home, wanting to excel with both. I wanted to be remembered by love and discipline there.. yes by courtesy and control if you will. I still trust the Lord to help me in this area.
Now I certainly wasn't a perfect parent, but Liney and I did spend a lot of time talking and listening to each other and our boys. We taught them the Scriptures and got their input regularly.
And sure we would wrestle and goof off with em at times, but my wife and I also wanted to see some level of order and respect being established there as well.
I've seen firsthand how some dads would spend almost zero time with their kids and yet really lay down the law as far as them keeping the house rules. Balance is a good thing. Giving can be a good thing too.
I've also seen how other moms and dads sought to spend time with their child a whole lot and would literally over-give to them in an uber-gracious way. Maybe they were compensating. Dunno.
They sincerely tried to only be their child's buddy or to win the child's heart by bribes. They became "one of the gang" or even the slave to drive them wherever they wanted whenever they wanted.. except to church because king-child never felt like going. You know, fear of tantrums.
And the spoiled child would soon show disrespect and would even despise this buddy-parent even though they learned well how to throw fits and pretty much got whatever they demanded.
Ever seen any children or parents like this? God commands, "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov. 22:6). This is so important today. And you can't do this well at all if you don't example this. They do what you do more than what you say to do.
Your best shot is to do it God's way according to the Bible, parent, because to live out of balance either way—with too much severe strictness or too much permissiveness with idol-baby—could mess em up. the imbalance could make it very easy for them to grow up and turn on you rather than feel respect for you.
Shifting gears believer, are you the type of public witness that lacks both grace along with an understanding of the truth because you are hardly ever in the Word or in prayer for others? Please change.
Some Christians pray a lot but totally ignore the Scriptures and they blow up, others ignore prayer time alone and but do read the Bible ..minus any application and they dry up. But some Christians read the Bible and pray ..and they grow up!
Are you the type of witness that can never be frank with someone for their own good, in fear that they might not like you anymore? There is so much fear out there of rejection, of being under-equipped, of messing up doctrinally.. but no worries because perfect love casts out fear. God is love and Christ's grace is SO there to help you!
Too many of us seek to live right and we work so hard to build a bridge of trust—earning the right to be heard so to speak—but once that bridge is built we never seem to open our mouths and get the Gospel across that bridge for fear of rejection. "Sure Kurt, we worked hard and don't want to lose the ground we gained." Christ was rejected so that you would not fear being rejected. He still gives boldness when we ask.
Or are you the type of witness that is so blunt regardless of the timing or location that saints and sinners alike have started to view you as rude and unwise? You know like.. "Well, the truth doesn't return void man, so if I embarrassed him with my loud preaching in front of all his co-workers on the job site about being late to church yesterday, then so be it. That's an issue between him and God, so he'll just need to repent and grow up. We've got to be punctual men of truth at all times, brother in and out of season."
AMEN MAN! But did Jesus give every sinner that He met all the truth He knew in one sitting or as much as He knew was right for them at that time? He seemed direct but very gentle with the lady at the well didn't He? She knew she was a sinner and tried to evade the subject of all her past husbands, and yet Christ remained tactful and on-task.
"The woman said to Him, 'Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.'" ~John 4:19-20, nkjv
"Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed." ~Psalm 85:9-10
Confronted by Love.
Convicted by the Spirit,
Changed on the spot by Jesus!
She simply went to fetch some water at an unusual time of the day, but her sin-sick life was totally transformed and cleansed from the inside out ..as a result of the grace and truth that Christ expressed. He took the time for her, but also got to the point.
And she was so grateful that this Lover number seven showed up at just the right time and place.
Though many modern day preachers and Christian witnesses won't touch on such pointed subjects anymore, you and I shouldn't be afraid to discuss topics of repentance, the Ten Commandments, infidelity, inner conviction, contrition, holy living, Hell, the brevity of life, real guilt, the Rapture of the Church, the Second Coming, future wrath or certain judgment to come.. but our hearers must know that we authentically care about them. Let the timing and approach be right. Why bring those things up if you don't love them dearly?
They certainly don't need another Pharisee-type talking down to them, browbeating em, pushin' em or condemning them.
I want to encourage you. I'm far from perfect.
Listen, after being as tactful and gracious as I can be in any given personal evangelism situation, I personally would rather have you (or anyone) angry with me now for telling you the truth than angry with me later as you go split the Lake of Fire wide open. Sure, I want you with the Lord and me foreverandeverandever not in that ugly loveless pit!
The love of Christ must compel us. If I really love someone who is totally distracted and headed for a cliff in a car, then I will jump up and down, wave my arms in the air, make a fool of myself if I have to, and also lift my voice just to get their attention..to warn them of what's ahead. You know you too would do that if you really cared for someone. I just heard of a doctor in Malibu who drove off a cliff last week with his dog, while he was texting a friend. People are hungry for grace and truth.
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue." ~2 Peter 1:2-3
"..since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, who also declared to us your love in the Spirit." ~Colossians 1:6-8
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." ~John 1:14
Hooray that we know and serve a God that is full of grace and truth. What a JOY!
Christ didn't just talk love, or disingenuously play the love-card if you will. He took action and went to the cross to show you how much He loves you! He prays for you today too because of it.
Today countless individuals are seeking for a god within themselves. They falsely believe that they were a frog or a roach in their former life on earth. TV personalities often go with an impersonal force or this jive as well. Others want to religiously earn points or good Karma. Some people want to meditate using crystals—they want to forget where they've blown it before and say, "Hey, it's all good." Is it? Many like cults that teach some Scriptures ..except for verses that touch on sin.
Hey if people are truly reincarnated, then where are all these new people coming from?
No gracious Creator out there.. really? Then why is the earth's population growing?
But people worship the trees, the forests, the oceans and the environment—anything out there, and are still considered cool by those in the world ..just as long as they don't worship the Bible God—Jesus Christ.
John tells us the truth that the glory of God ain't tied up in things, just as it ain't any longer confined on a mountain or in a Tabernacle or as a cloud or as fire or as a reflection on a leader's face. Nope, "the Word became flesh and lived for a while among us... full of grace and truth."
John tells us, "I have seen Him!"
How excellent! John actually saw Jesus up close and personal as He lived sinless the whole way through.. as he ministered to the masses of needy people with grace and truth, as He exampled a better way, as He got arrested, as He got nailed for no fault of His own, as He got jeered and mocked, as He died in pain, as He got thrown in a dirty hole, as He came out of that tomb three days later totally victorious, just as He said He would, and saw Him, Christ, as He ascended up on high!
God want you to see Jesus as well.. and hear His voice. John saw Him in the past, but you can see Him in the future if you make your reservations in advance. He seriously wants that for your loved as well.
Man, I'd love to hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant.." How 'bout you? Respond right now! And never forget that the cross is where grace and truth met together... for you and for me.