Wednesday, April 1, 2015

More Grace - introducing Steve McVey

I have never met Steve McVey, but there he was, sitting on my bookshelves, eagerly waiting, I have to believe, for me to pick up his book, Grace Walks, and read what he had to say.  I have reason to believe I have ignored him for years, as I have either known personally many of the other authors or, have respected their views on Grace as I have been blessed by their thoughts on other subjects.  So, I opened his book and started reading.  Good material!  Especially, the sub-title, "What you have always wanted in the Christian life."  That was easy to understand.  Perhaps, that is why I bought the book in the first place.  It took me almost forty-five years to discover what I had been searching for, His acceptance and a assurance of His love.

So now, hear what Steve has to say that grabbed my attention.

"A person who focuses on keeping rules will experience constant frustration.  The purpose of the Law is to show a right relationship to God is not the result of conforming to external regulations.  Now we live by this new law, which is not based on external demands, but rather on internal desires.  When we understand that Christ is our life, we are motivated by His desires within us..  We want to do the things that glorify God.  The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus motivates us and empowers us to live a Godly lifestyle.  We no longer focus on rules, but on our relationship to Him.  "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death."  (Romans 6:2) Legalism activates the "law of sin ad death" because the law arouses the desire to sin.  (Romans 5:23) So a person who takes a legalistic approach to the Christian life can never find victory by trying to keep the Law.  The certainty of defeat increases in direct proportion to our effort to live the Christian life by focusing on rules.  The law can tell us what we ought to do, but it cannot give us the ability to fulfill its demands.  The only thing the Law can give us is a sense of condemnation over our failure. Second Corinthians calls the law "the ministry of death" and verse 9 calls it the "ministry of condemnation". We have died to a system of rules and have been born again into a spiritual relationship of Grace."

McVey pauses here to have his readers consider the wisdom of another old friend, Watchman Nee, who if you have not heard of him. I would suggest you explore many of his interpretations of the life to be lived - as Christian, as a follower of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Watchman Nee: "Grace means that God does something for me; law means I do something for God.  God has certain holy and righteous demands which He places upon me; that is law.  Now if law meas that God requires something of me for their fulfillment; then deliverance from the law means He no longer requires that of me; but Himself provides it.  Law implies that God requires me to do something for Him;  Deliverance from the law implies that He exempts me from doing it, and that is Grace.  He does it Himself.  \I need do nothing for God;that is deliverance from the law."

McVey continues...."The truth slams hard against the perspective of the legalist.  I spent may years of my Christian life trying to do something for God.  What a relief it was to discover that God is not' interested in what we can do for Him.  He can do anything that He needs done.  He does't want what we can do - He just wants us!'

My first encounter with God - that I can recall, came as a whisper in my ear as I was atop a troop ship headed for the Far East.  I was scared.  17 years old and headed for a nation that for the past few years, had provided us with news reels depicting the cruelty of their soldiers.  But my attention was diverted to the view of the skies.  It was in the dark of night and from the East to the West, the North to the South, the expanse reminded me of diamonds arrayed on a black velvet display cloth.  Millions of stars, planets, comets, shooting stars, and others, dancing before my eyes.  And then, there was a whisper, "I have created all of this and heavens far beyond all you can see."  Oh my, it was more than I could possibly comprehend.  It still boggles my mind.  It had to be God.  Who else?  And now I know without a doubt, He loves me - and you!  And all He asks of us is to follow in the footsteps of His beloved Son.

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