By Benjamin H. Liles
Don't get me wrong, and don't mistake anything I've written today from a review I wrote to think "Okay, he's not advocating for Christian ideals." Actually, I do, but I have a problem with doing things in order to sell books that don't adequately show God's approval on it.
Before I launch into another tirade, again, I want to make it clear where I truthfully, and honestly stand: God's side. This doesn't mean, however, I won't stand up for people's rights as well. When I say, "I stand for Godly principles," I stand for His holiness, His purity to be evident in me through me and in my life. More than anything, when He takes me home, I want to be able to hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
His holiness, His perfection, His glory, and His purity are what I seek. So, anything that takes away from Him and His message in and through His word -- the Bible -- matters deeply to me. It doesn't mean I won't build up the body of Christ, which I will do to the best of my God-given ability, but it means I will correct and help guide the Church, with His help.
I desire, fully, to be a God pleaser, to work out my salvation, sanctification and justification in "fear and holiness." This is what God requires of me as He has given me grace for today. So, and this is what I understand in my own limited capacity, to give grace to everyone as well. First and foremost to those who have hurt me, as well as to those who I have yet to meet who have been walking with God. It has prompted this phrase from me: "Grace for grace."
What "Grace for grace" means to me is this: "God's grace was given for me when I put my faith in Him and His Son, who died in my place on the cross, to redeem me from my sins; therefore, my "part," so to speak, is to give grace to everyone as well." His grace is a process, daily, one in which if I am not covered by Him on, I do not have a reason to speak or talk on. So, if I'm quiet, it means I'm making sure I line up with what God says. He is that first and foremost: to me.
Next, and I say this in all openness and honesty, with you; God loves you enough to not leave you alone, adrift and without hope. Our hope is in Christ Jesus, never on one man for our faith. Jesus Christ said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to the Father, but by Me." I may not have fully quoted that right, but if I have it's a miracle because I have closed my Bible for the moment.
I've said all of that to say this: I am not in any way or any means a critic of you, of anyone, or for that matter someone who can sit in judgment of you, or on another, but God Himself, through Jesus Christ will do that. So, don't think for a minute I am doing and going further than God. Rather, I feel it is my duty, my faith, to express my love and adoration for the One who saved me from my sin, from my evil desires, to help me overcome my baser and fleshly instincts. I want sin put to death in my body, and for Christ to be made evident in my life. It is also this virtue I seek to make known also to you. The apostles also did this, telling us what Christ Jesus has done for them, telling us how they loved Him even to the point of their own death at the hands of men.
With all of that said, my desire is for everyone to hunger and thirst for Him, His righteousness, and to come to Him in humility -- denying themselves, picking up their cross, and declaring to God Almighty -- "Save me, a sinner! For I am wretched and undone. I am unworthy of You." Don't be like the Pharisee who sat there and claimed, "At least I'm not like that sinner, beating his chest, making himself lowly." For it is written: "God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble." I pray this helps you today, and that the name of Jesus Christ is lifted up, Amen.