George Washington is known as the Father of our Country. He held the American army together through some very difficult times, made some brilliant moves as the Commanding General of the army, and ultimately secured a victory over the British. As the fledgling country began the process of developing a new government, there was one natural move: make General Washington King George I of America. Washington turned down the offer saying “I didn’t fight George III to become George I.” He knew that it would not be good to replace one unaccountable sovereign with another.
The Christian life is like that. Paul dealt with the Galatian Church. Many of the new followers of Christ had come from a pagan background. They worshiped false gods and engaged in rituals designed to appease those gods. Then, they heard the gospel message and followed Christ. They had questions about this new life in Christ and some of the preaching they heard started talking about following certain rituals designed to make God love them. Paul was incensed! “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?” (Galatians 4:8-9)
Perhaps it’s a natural reaction. We realize how unworthy we are before an unholy God. We don’t know how to respond to the idea that God loves us and wants us to be with Him. The Galatians had that problem and so even though they were made right with God because of the blood of Jesus Christ, because of His grace and mercy, they decided to try to make God happy. They wanted to see if they could make God love them. They didn’t understand this truth that God couldn’t love them any more! Think about how much God had already shown His love for them by sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross so that they could be in fellowship with Him. He had taken them from the darkness of their pagan ways into His glorious light. How could God love them any more than that?
We live with that same truth: God can’t love us any more. If you saw that title, you might have been outraged and thought that I had given up my faith. The truth is that I am outraged when people try to convince others that for some reason, the sacrifice of Jesus isn’t enough in our relationship with God. They say, “Jesus died for you, now you need to do this.” They begin talking about all the things that a believer “must do” to become holy or right with God. That’s the thing with God’s grace, though. He has already given us all of His love. He can’t love us any more than that. Will our lives change when we enter into a relationship with God? Yes. Of course. We will want to be conformed to His image. That change is also a gift from God working in us. Only as God works in us will that change happen. So experience the love and grace of God knowing that you have all of His love and grace from the moment you turned to Him. Share that grace with others not to gain more of His love, but so that others can share in His grace also.
Lord God, Your grace really is amazing. I know I don’t deserve Your love and yet You have given me all of Your love and grace. Let me experience Your grace in all parts of my life. Let me share that love and grace with others.