Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Lens of Grace vs The Lens of Law

Rex Holt, a friend of ours and a former staff member, writes a daily devotional. Recently, he wrote on law vs. grace and truth. I copied that devotional and pasted it here. He compared how we see life through lenses as our physical eyes see our world through lenses perfected individually for our eyes. Interesting comparison. Here's his devotional:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.' ") And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(John 1:14-17 ESV)

My right eye is stronger than my left eye. I know because I just tested it reading a scripture plaque about 10 feet from where I am sitting. I also know because the glasses I am wearing were fitted by an optometrist who placed this heavy looking machine before my eyes and kept changing lens asking which is clearer, this or this? He kept using all kinds of lens, some stronger some weaker, until he had the perfect blend for my eyes. So the glasses I wear are fitted uniquely for me. Now I never stop to think which eye is better I just see and the two eyes working with the two lens give me good vision for which I am grateful.

All of us see life through different kinds of lens. When the lens are right we see accurately and images are sharper, more distinct, with brilliant and beautiful colors.

John is saying that we need new lens to replace the old bulky, hazy, foggy lens of the law. These new lens are grace and truth. Notice which comes first. Grace. Grace is the totally undeserved, unmerited, favor and acceptance of God. It is the unending, unwavering, unconditional, unexplainable love of God for me, just as I am. Jesus loves me. Jesus died for me. Not me perfect but me messed up, fouled up and broken up. This is the kind of grace that says, "I am crazy about you and nothing can make me change my mind. I am not leaving you and nothing you can do will stop me from loving you...just as you are."

When we receive grace we also receive truth. They are inseparable twins. Grace allows us to see the truth about God and the truth about ourselves. Grace and truth go together like a horse and carriage, love and marriage, peas and get the point.

Grace will change the way you see life. When grace gets a grip on you then all of life changes... you are more joyful, playful, winsome and loving. You come alive–fully alive and you face life with courage and faith.

Are you seeing life through the lens of law or the lens of grace and truth?

It's amazing how what lens we look through determines what we see and how we see it and subsequently how we think and then what we believe and do.

Thoughts to ponder.