What we can do, or what God can?
This morning I had a fleeting thought that it would be nice, just for old times’ sake, to visit the sort of legalistic church I left nearly two years ago. Just for one service. My mind quickly skipped through some service memories, various sermons I heard that were “really good”, the kind I’d buy the CD of and play again at times, the kind that were exceptionally encouraging… things like “Shake the Snake” about Paul’s shipwreck, and how he just shook the snake into the fire without bothering further with it. How things that happen-even really bad things-shouldn’t bother us at all if we really have faith, that we should just shake them off and act like nothing’s happened… things like “You’re Gonna Make It” (also the title of a much loved song) about how if we just keep going to church and “holding on” (whatever that means) we’ll somehow make it to Heaven someday… I was shocked. None of the sermons I remembered had much to do with God. They had a whole lot to do with what I should and shouldn’t be doing to get to Heaven, with promises of great things to come in my life, with not admitting problems and acting perfect, but nothing to do with God.
I think about the sermons and lessons I hear now–mainly things about what different scriptures might mean, how much God loves us, how wonderful simply believing and having faith in Him, trusting Him, is, how none of us is perfect but Jesus died for us anyway and that His death was enough… we don’t have to have a list of do’s and don’ts to get to Heaven, just faith in Jesus.
What a vast difference between the two types of sermons. One was all about what I should do, had to do, and the other is all about grace.