Tag Archives: grace and truth

God Pleasers

We have a choice in life. We can live as a God pleaser or a people pleaser. This is difficult for some people. I know that as a child, I wanted nothing more than to please people. My daughter is somewhat of a people pleaser as well. It is great to want to please people. The issue is when you compromise pleasing God to please people.

Jesus Christ is grace and truth. We always must live with grace and truth always on our minds, with Jesus always in our heart. He is our focus. He is our priority. We cannot step around like we are walking on egg shells, and keep ourselves from speaking truth. We cannot disregard the spiritual immaturity of others, simply because it may offend someone to speak truth in love.

God has placed us right where we are at this very moment. There are people around us who need to experience God’s grace and His truth. Today, do not skate around the truth because you don’t want to ruffle any feathers. If you love someone, speak truth. Keeping the truth from a person because you want to please them results in a few problems. First, you are not pleasing God. Second, as you attempt to please this person, you deny them the truth. Perhaps, even enabling them. This is not love. Grace is an important thing—and a beautiful thing. However, there always must be balance. Honor God’s Truth.

“For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:4 [NLT]

Fuzzy Reality

This morning I was walking around taking care of some chores as I was waiting to wash my face mask off and put my glasses back on. If anyone knows me, they know that I must have my glasses on to see. I have really bad vision, and everything is fuzzy without my trusty glasses. Those ten minutes were challenging, a great reminder of the blessing of sight.

Without my glasses, I could still make out what I was seeing because I had a good idea of things. It was the details that I could not figure out. Ten minutes seemed like a long time; if I had to go all day without my glasses, I would be lost.

This morning adventure got me thinking about understanding truth. All of us are like me without my glasses. We can see some truth. We can grasp a bit of truth. Even so, we do not fully see and know all. We can only understand so much. The world tells us that truth is what we make of it. That is comparable to me thinking the afghan is my dog or that the bowl in the sink is empty. It might look like my dog; it might look empty—but I don’t have my glasses on so I miss the boat. In the same way, if we make truth be whatever we think is truth, we miss the boat. We can only get truth from Jesus Christ. It is a slow process of walking with God and allowing Him to reveal it to you piece by piece. But it’s not made up. It’s not what we want it to be either. It is what God says it is—it is truth! Today, ask Him to open your eyes, to help you to see Truth like never before.

“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” – John 1:17 [ESV]

“Pilate said, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus responded, ‘You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.’” – John 18:37 [NLT]

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Balancing Truth and Grace

Some people have brought it to my attention that I have a problem balancing truth and grace, hence the reason the Spirit led me to speak often about truth and grace. Often we are not only preaching for others to hear, but God leads us to preach to ourselves as well. Jesus is grace and truth (John 1:17). Life is all about balance, and this is true when it comes to truth and grace. If we have too much truth and lack grace, we have judgment and condemnation. If we have too much grace and lack truth, we have tolerance of the ungodly.

At the start of Galatians, the Apostle Paul is astonished that the people were deserting the Gospel. People were “turning to a different gospel.” We notice in the New Testament that as the Early Church was spreading, there were people who wanted to introduce something else into the Gospel of Christ. People were teaching Christ, but adding to the Gospel. In doing so, it was as if Jesus wasn’t enough. In teaching something added to Jesus or something other than Jesus, it was taking away from the grace and the truth.

As Paul notes here, there is only one Gospel. There is the Good News of Jesus Christ. As John writes, Jesus is grace and truth. As we share this Good News to others and as we live this out in our own lives, we must always have grace and truth. If we live with a lot of truth, trying to uphold the Law, we will die to the law. We are not perfect. We all fall short (Romans 3:23). It won’t work. We will beat ourselves up, and for no good reason. If we pour this out to others, we will be the judgmental, finger pointer who turns everyone away. If we live with a lot of grace, we will never be confronted with the Truth. We cannot be molded into who God created us to be if we turn away from the conviction. We will find ourselves tolerating anything and everything that comes our way. Not only will we live a life tolerating sin in our own life, but we will live like that toward those around us. We will pour out the love, but we will love everyone to hell. This truth hurts. But it is truth that must be spoken. We need truth. We need grace. We need Jesus.

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” – Galatians 1:6-7 [ESV]

Lights Out

Signing your name to something is often known as an endorsement. When you sign a check, you are endorsing it. By signing your name on the check, you are giving your word that there is money in your bank account to cover whatever amount is on the check. In life we endorse more than just checks. We can endorse people by giving them a written or verbal reference, or by slapping a bumper sticker on our car. We can endorse products by writing a review. When an accountant prepares your tax returns, he endorses the returns by signing them. When a person inspects your vehicle, that inspection sticker is an endorsement, stating that the car passed inspection per the state codes.

But what happens when one endorses something but it turns out to not be good? Often when a person’s word was trusted but found to be unworthy of trust, there is a loss of moral authority. This past week, I was on the bad end of a faulty endorsement. My family was blessed with a new van; however, the fellow that sold the vehicle promised to inspect it so it could have a fresh inspection sticker good for another year. I was happy and appreciative of the gesture. I was not happy a few days later; however, when I found myself being pulled over by a police officer for malfunctioning lights. They would have been checked with the inspection. What do you mean a few are out? How could that be? Today a different mechanic looked at the van and said he never saw anything like it. So many bulbs that weren’t working, among other items that would have failed with a state inspection. It was clear that I would never do business with the man that sold the van again. He lost my trust.

Integrity and moral authority are important; however, the world does not pay much attention to these items anymore. It is so often that one can lie and cheat their way to the top. We have accepted some sins as not-so-bad and traded the truth for a lie. We will endorse anything, not caring what it will do to our moral authority. Doing our best for God’s glory is put on the back-burner. Power, pleasure and possessions trump grace and truth. Today, remember God’s word reminds us we are not part of this world. We have a higher calling. Walk with integrity friends. You may be the only gospel a person reads. Point to Jesus.

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” – Proverbs 11:3 [NIV]

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:1-2 [NIV]