Today, our pastor Tim Lucas gave an incredible message on living in the TENSION of grace and truth. This was a message that was inspired by one similar given by Reggie Joiner about the Think Orange philosophy, but it was extended not just to youth and children but to our entire church. This was the fourth time I’d heard this message and it inspires and challenges me. As it did my wife. The message won’t be available online until later next week, but I wanted to share a few things about living in the Tension.
Jesus lead with GRACE but ended with TRUTH.
Whenever Jesus would minister to anyone He would first lead with grace, extending God’s invitation of forgiveness and unconditional love and acceptance. Then end with the Truth. When the woman was caught in adultery, Jesus said, “whoever is without sin can cast the first stone.” aka GRACE. But also told her, “Go and sin no more.” TRUTH. We need to both, but Jesus always began with grace. Grace is what prepares the heart to receive Truth.
The BIBLE is all TRUE, but not everything TRUE about life is in the BIBLE.
There are a lot of things that the Bible does not speak about in our current world. For instance, what does the Bible say about social media, global warming or gun control? The answer. Not much, but the Bible teaches us HOW to think biblically about those issues. The purpose of Scripture is to point us toward Jesus and as we let Scripture shape our heads and our hearts we begin to live the radical life Jesus called us to in the tension.
Tension is Messy.
Living in tension is extremely messy. There are times when we would rather make it one or the other. All grace (so I can do whatever I want) or all Truth (I can judge whoever I want), but we are called to live in both. As a parent, I want my kids to live up to God’s ideals. But if I’m really honest, I don’t always live up to God’s ideals. I fail, my kids will fail too. Helping them means that I need to help them understand God’s ideal, and that we are broken, and to point them back to Jesus who can heal them and put them back together.
We need guides.
I know my kids won’t always want to talk with me about what is happening in their lives. What I want for my kids is what I had in my life. Mentors, coaches, and leaders that would come alongside them, cheerlead them and encourage them to seek Christ even when they fail, even when they fall apart.
I’ve had the chance to mentor high schoolers for over ten years. The kids that continue to follow Jesus were the ones that had a caring adult in their lives. These adults have stayed in their lives even when the go away to college. That adult is their reference point to Jesus. They are a guide to them when their journey gets rocky and life falls apart. Like it eventually will.