Let Grace Be Grace

This morning I had an appointment with my neurologist. This was timely in light of my recent hospitalization. Dr. Bondi was pleased with my progress. I am always surprised how much he remembers about my early hospitalization and the evaluations that he did then compared to now.

He does want me to have some follow up MRI’s on my neck and head and will do some nerve damage assessment on my legs and arms. The good news is that he feels the weakness and lack of response in my right leg will improve with time. This deficit is part of the West Nile Virus damage to nerves. He did say that I do show the presence of Myasethenia Gravis but it is not as active as it could be due to the removal of my thymus gland. I should be able to eliminate or drop back on some of my meds over the next few weeks. He performed a fairly extensive exam and I was surprised how tired I was after returning home from the appointment.

Last night I had the opportunity to attend a reception for Laura Woods, candidate for the State Senate in Jefferson County. I also met Donna Walter who is running for State Representative in Fort Collins. (picture above) Both these ladies are committed Christians stepping into the political arena.

We are looking forward to Christian and Bridget and grandkids coming up this evening. Christian and  Bridget will go out on a “date” and we will take the grandkids to Sonic for milkshakes. (after 8 p.m. of course for half price special)

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.”  Romans 11:6 (ESV)

As Paul writes to the Romans he is confronting the difficult issues of adherence to the Law of Moses and salvation by grace through faith in Christ. This can difficult for us to grasp or appreciate. But if you were a Jew who was instructed, like Paul, to live your life in strict adherence to the Law of Moses and now you are hearing that is not necessary; there are all kinds of questions racing through your head.

Paul addresses many of those. He was on the look out for those who took the view that if we are “save by grace” it doesn’t matter how we live. The more sin, the more grace! Paul responds with a resounding, “God forbid!”                   (Romans 6:1,2)

Paul explains that we now have available to our lives a righteousness (right-ness before God) that is not based on what we do. He says, all have sinned (Jews and Gentiles) and all have the opportunity to experience forgiveness through the grace of Jesus.

Consider the full context of Paul’s explanation that contains a familiar verse…

“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”  Romans 3:21-25

We see the key words, “‘righteousness” “faith” “grace” “believe” – Paul in writing to the Ephesians places this words in another way to show the relationship between “faith” and “works.”

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:8,9

Our right standing before God is all possible because of what Christ accomplished on the cross. There is no competition for this status, there is no initiation or “hazing ritual.” It is a gift; a gift received by faith. It is not a result of our work for Christ, is a result of Christ’s work on us. As we follow Him, we walk in “good works” that God has prepared for us to live in, so that we can glorify Him and be His agents of change and life  in a dark world. Let grace be grace in your life.