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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Commandments Are Not Burdensome

"Speak for yourself, Sparky." That's what you're thinking. And there are times even now when I feel like the worst sinner who ever breathed, because we all have our weak moments. I'm not unfamiliar with Grave Matterville. But I also know mercy. I can hardly speak it to you, I have received so much. As it is written, "And from His fullness we have received grace upon grace." That used to be just words on a page. Now...

Now I understand that every grace is a potential moment of covenant renewal, where God says, "Choose this day whom you will serve." Yet I learn each day how weak I am in my own strength, and yet, paradoxically, how it must be mine in a certain sense to be real. God is not trying to earth the gospel in the abstract; I am the arena for His praise and glory. This life.

I do not want to be reckoned righteous when I am not. That would make God a liar, though it appears to make Him merciful. Grace saves; if it doesn't, it's not grace.

Anyway, sometimes I tremble; my heart does more than the fear and trembling Paul means. I get more afraid than a pious heart should. But it no longer scares me when a priest or wise person asks, "Did you keep the commandments?" Because life with God is a friendship, not a guilt trip. If we have failed, He has never stopped loving us, but we needn't ever fear we are beyond His mercy. Because you can't get beyond it. The only real trouble is to believe you have. This is a special pride the evil one loves, because you get stuck in despair.

In His grace, there is a power that cannot be thwarted; there is Love that will not be held at bay. O Lord, I am but an unprofitable servant, but I do love You!

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