The Christian life is meant to be marked by simplicity. Jesus summed up our purpose with two statements: love God and love people. But in our humanity we have made complex what God designed to be peaceful, purposeful, and simple. A. W. Tozer remarks in The Pursuit of God, “Every age has its own characteristics. Right now we are in an age of religious complexity. The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us. In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart. The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and that servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all. If we would find God amid all the religious externals, we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity.” May we discover the peace and joy that come from pursuing a simple Christianity this week.
Grace is a glorious commodity of heaven that can only be received and experienced in surrender to the will and love of our heavenly Father. Our world is unable to offer grace because it is in a constant state of need, and grace can only be offered from a place of true wholeness and love. In utter completeness, our God is able to offer us grace because he needs nothing from us in return. He requires nothing of us, so he offers us everything apart from any ability or inherent value we possess.
Grace comprises the core of the Christian foundation. It’s God’s grace that drove him to send his Son as payment for our sins. It’s through grace that we enter into the fullness of restored relationship with our good Father. It’s through grace that we receive forgiveness for our sins. And it’s in the simplicity of grace that we are transformed into the very image of our Savior.
I find myself continually missing out on all that God’s grace offers me. I retreat into a lifestyle of works where I try to earn what God has already given me. I work for the love of my heavenly Father and others, vying for affection rather than receiving the ceaseless love of God for me. I strive and work for holiness and righteousness instead of simply aligning myself with the new nature of freedom God has offered me in grace.
1 Corinthians 15:10 says, “By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain.” Can you say today that you are what you are by the grace of God? Is your life marked by and founded on God’s limitless supply of grace? Are your emotions, perspectives, pursuits, and relationships founded on the notion that God loves you simply because he loves you? Have you found total security and rest in the loving embrace of a God who longs to fill you, sustain you, bless you, provide for you, and love you simply because it’s his desire?
Allow God to fill you with a fresh revelation of his grace today. Come before him with an open heart, and allow the truth of his unceasing and grace-filled love wash through you. Allow him to cast out any fear, toil, or burden that is keeping you from the abundant life available to you. Spend time in guided prayer being transformed by the simplicity of grace.
1. Meditate on the principles of grace. How does it work? Where does it come from? How can you experience it? Allow God’s word to lay a foundation of grace by which you live.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10
“For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Galatians 2:19-21
2. In what ways are you living a works based life? Where do you need a fresh vision for living by grace?
3. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a fresh vision for how deeply God’s grace goes in any and every circumstance you face. Ask him to fill you with a fresh revelation of how deeply he loves you regardless of what you do. Allow him to lead you into a lifestyle of living by grace in every pursuit, relationship, thought, and perspective.
Extended Reading: Ephesians 2