“…how is it that you are turning back to
those weak and miserable forces?”
God’s grace is free, but it’s not cheap. It was the life of Christ that made his grace
possible. It’s extremely costly, for it cost Jesus his life; yet it’s free
because no one can afford it.
Many people are too proud to accept anything free. Freebies are for the poor and the weak,
but the rich will always pay for what they get.
I felt a little uneasy when I received a donation from the church for the first time,
even though I was very thankful for it. Accepting something completely free of
charge isn’t as easy as you may think.
“Can I rake the leaves for you?” a homeless man asked after I gave him some money, wanting
to do something to warrant what he had received from me. The guy might be
poverty-stricken, but there was still pride and dignity in him.
Do we really know what God’s grace is?
Even though the price has been paid in full through Christ’s death on the cross, we may
still insist on paying for it, which is insulting to God, as if Christ’s
payment wasn’t sufficient.
“It’s finished,” Jesus exclaimed on the cross, announcing the debt of sin has been
paid in full.
What are “those weak and miserable forces” Paul was speaking about?
Self-occupation is what keeps us from leading a life of Christ-centeredness. Whatever we do for
the Lord, the Holy Spirit does through us; yet we often have a
self-congratulatory attitude as if we ourselves have single-handedly done it.
Instead of lifting Christ up in our spiritual service, we do have a tendency to
attract attention to ourselves.
We may applaud ourselves for giving tithes and offerings to God’s church as if we were
doing God a favor, not realizing that we are actually doing ourselves a favor,
for our giving serves as a reminder that we owe the Lord one hundred percent of
our income and “it’s in him we live and move and have our being.” Surely it’s
“weak and miserable” for us to try to earn God’s favor by our meager giving.
I always have a sense of “self-intoxication” when I sing, which is the reason why I am very
hesitant to sing in a choir or to “perform” on stage. It has to be so
unappetizing for the Lord and the host of angels to hear my lousy singing. I
will never sing to the Lord if I continue to hear myself singing.
Only young children can receive something without feeling slighted or insulted, for they are not
able to do anything for themselves. To grow up is to learn to become independent
and to do things for yourself. O how we need to restore the child-like
innocence when we depended on the Lord for all things. “Let the little children come
to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as
We are in fact “weak and miserable” if we believe ourselves to be strong enough to pay
for what we have received from the Lord. Those who attempt to earn their
salvation will ultimately find themselves wanting.