Tuesday, July 30
Grace and truth
Scripture: Isaiah 60-62, John 1
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
John describes Jesus as “full of grace and truth,” and adds that while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus. Jesus was equally full of both: full of grace; full of truth. And as His followers, we want to be full of both.
Most people tend to one or the other: grace or truth. Grace without truth is mushy sentimentality; truth without grace can be harsh. Each needs the other; Jesus was full of both and we need to be as well.
Paul calls us to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). The truth can be used as a hammer to control and dominate, or it can set people free when it’s shared in love.
Our culture has elevated tolerance to the degree that speaking the truth is now politically incorrect. If you call out sin or wrong, you are considered intolerant and that isn’t tolerated! We’ve erred on the side of “grace” that is actually graceless and devoid of truth.
On the other hand, some Christians major in a graceless truth. They speak the truth, but it feels loveless, graceless, harsh, uncaring.
Andy Stanley gave an example of both. Jesus teaches that if you divorce a spouse and remarry, you commit adultery. (There are exceptions.) Andy proclaims that truth to his church, and follows with the grace of forgiveness. He doesn’t excuse divorce as though it didn’t matter, but he also offers forgiveness and grace that lead to full acceptance.
We desperately need both. We need truth and grace together in fullness! I need it in my leadership, in my ministry, in my relationships.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, full of grace and truth, fill me with Your Spirit, Your grace and Your truth.