The Law and Grace. Day forty-eight...
During His teaching from the mountain, Jesus gives us a lengthy description of a way of life that was previously unknown to man—and only possible through Jesus.
This way of life is still unknown to those who have no relationship with Jesus, for the obvious reason that only Jesus makes it possible. But it is my observation that very, very few Christians know of this lifestyle, either.
Jesus refers to this new and radically different lifestyle as life over and above what is necessary—life beyond measure.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 KJV
For Him to say that He came so I might have life indicates that apart from Him I don't really have life—regardless of how things appear. Please don't miss this.
If we're not living by what Jesus defines as a life abundant, then we're not really living.
Living an abundant life could be considered as a part of living under grace. Living an abundant life could also be considered as a part of living in the kingdom of Heaven or the kingdom of God (Jesus makes no distinction between the two).
Because “living under grace” and “living in the kingdom” have almost become religious clichés to many Christians, I prefer to think of this abundant life as a byproduct of living with an informed awareness of God's presence—an informed awareness of God's presence as opposed to an uninformed awareness of His presence.
An uninformed awareness of the presence of God is emotion‐based rather than truth‐based.
God is always present in our lives.
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content
such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave
So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5–6 NKJV)
But while God is always present, our awareness of His presence can be severely limited—to just an emotional (soulish) response.
We are so used to the destructive emotions—the anger, the frustration, the hurt, the disappointment—which plague us all day long in the world out there. And to experience the wonderful emotions that go along with God's presence can make us think, “This is as could as it can get.” Even grief has a certain sweetness to it in the presence of the Lord.
But there's so much more!
A man in one of my classes recently told me that he experiences God's presence on a regular basis, but has never read the Bible. While I don't doubt that he is experiencing a measure of God's presence, it is an uninformed presence. Experiencing God in an uninformed way has little or no power to transform a life.
The wonderful emotions from a great time of worship or a beautiful sunset are very limited in their ability to transform a life—if those emotions from God's presence are all that's being experienced.
There's great peace in an awareness of God's presence on an emotional level. There's great joy. But there's not much power. It's like hiring an attorney to defend you who feels like you have a good case but doesn't know the law.
Please keep in mind that an informed awareness of God's presence is based on everything ever said from God's mouth.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4 KJV)
And awareness of His presence is not informed if it's just based on our emotional responses.
Have a good day,