From the vaults!
On Twitter, one of my favorite people to follow is Paul Tripp, of Paul Tripp ministries located out of Philadelphia, PA. His thoughts on corporate worship and grace are sometimes mind-blowing, but sometimes and more often than not, they serve as simple reminders of what I know about Christ, but still take for granted. These are his tweets from this morning:
“You have a High Priest who is able to be touched by your temptations and weaknesses. Jesus really does understand! No matter who you are, where you are, what you are facing, there is grace for you that is form fitted for this moment’s need. That abundant supply of daily grace which we all need will never grow weak, get stale, dry up, or run out. Its grace upon grace upon grace.”
Furthermore, on his new album, “Fresh”, Tye Tribbet has a song called “Let the Rocks Fall.” It’s a musical recounting of the woman in John 8. The Pharisees had caught a woman in the act of adultery and then they presented her to Jesus, hoping to trap him. In verse 7, Jesus, after scribbling in the dust, said to them, “The sinless one among you, cast the first stone” (John 8:7 MSG). So, as Tye musically recounts this scene, the key line is “If I never heard the sound of grace before, I heard it when the rocks hit the ground.”
Grace, grace, grace, grace. God’s grace! Teaching and preaching can never be exhausted on this subject, because God’s grace is never exhausted toward us. Paul talks about the High Priest, Jesus Christ, who is spoken of in Hebrews. The key thing to remember here is that unlike the priests of old, Jesus sees both sides of the equation. He is God, so He understands God’s commands for holiness, sanctification and a purified walk before Him. But He was also man, and while the Bible never goes into great detail about all of the temptations that Christ suffered, it is clear that He can identify with every sin known to man, not that He gave in to the temptation, but he knows what its like when the thoughts come, and when the flesh gets weak to the point of wanting to give in. He understands. And where many of us fail in extending grace and mercy to others and even ourselves, is that we allow sin to trick us into believing that no one has ever been in our shoes. Satan is a master isolator. He will use whatever rubble we have laying at our feet to build a wall around us to keep up locked up. He will tell us that we are unforgiveable, that we might as well keep on in our sin, that there is no escape, no hope for us.
It’s the feeling of isolation that creates the feeling of despair. The more we isolate ourselves, the more we hide. We find all of the leaves that we can, much as Adam and Eve did, because we innately understand that God is watching us, and is coming to find us, yet, we picture God coming at us with His sword blazing, prepared to kick us out of the Garden, when He is in fact only coming to heal us. He is not coming with Judgment as He did in Eden. Since the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, the olive branch has been extended, and He comes with compassion.
The fact is that, just as Paul Tripp says, He understands!!! Wouldn’t we all give everything just to have one person who understands everything that we deal with in life? The good news is that we have 1 person. Jesus. Because of Him, God has extended fresh grace time after time after time. Because He has not willed that any should die in sin, His grace extends to our last breath. Yes, without grace, we are wretched, miserable, poor blind, and naked. But, because of grace, we are redeemed, forgiven, and set free to live a life of worship that completely overrides any of our sinful inclinations. Great grace, God’s grace! Its completely amazing grace!
One last thing. Paul Tripp says that grace is form fitted. That means that its not merely a blanket grace, which would be good enough to cover all of us forever, but God’s grace towards you is tailored to your particular needs. Its like a freshly tailored garment that God placed on you the moment you approach Him, and appropriate His grace over your life. He stands at the ready to give you new clothing. This garment of grace fits you exactly; it hits every specification of sin in your life and effectively squeezes it out. The only thing allowed in is the grace seeping from the fabric of the clothing into your skin, cleansing and freeing you as you’ve never experienced it before.
I pray that we never stop pushing grace to the masses. I pray that we never allow ourselves to take grace for granted. It is God’s power in our lives that frees us to move forward. As long as there is grace, then we should have hope. So, I think the best way to conclude this article would be to quote again from another song that I love that was done by Israel Houghton. The chorus simply says this:
“Grace that restores, Grace that redeems,
Grace that releases me to worship.
Grace that repairs visions and dreams
Grace that releases miracles,
Amen. Be blessed fam.