But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
Series: All is Grace
As much as the church of America talks about grace, one of the least understood things.
We say “God loves everyone” but we live as if God loves the good ones, disappointed in the bad ones.
Sooner or later – confronted – inadequacy
We find Jesus there.
Jesus came for Hookers – Porn Stars – Murderers – Rapists
Bad decisions, stupid lifestyles.
Military guy – left military – seminary – devoted his life to service to God. “Little Brothers of Jesus” – alcoholic
‘A Word Before’
The Ragamuffin Gospel was written with a specific audience in mind. This book is not for the superspiritual. – It is not for muscular Christians who have made John Wayne, and not Jesus, their hero. It is not for academics who would imprison Jesus in the ivory tower of exegesis. It is not for noisy, feel-good folks who manipulate Christianity into a naked appeal of emotion. – It is not for the hooded mystics who want magic in their religion. – It is not for Alleluia Christians who live only on the mountaintop and have never visited the valley of desolation. – It is not for the fearless and tearless.
It is not for the red-hot zealots who boast with the rich young ruler of the Gospels: “All these commandments I have kept from my youth.”It is not for the complacent who hoist over their shoulders a tote bag of honors, diplomas, and good works, actually believing they have it made. It is not for the legalists who would rather surrender control of their souls to rules than run the risk of living in union with Jesus.
If anyone is stll reading along, The Ragamuffin Gospel was written for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out. – It is for the sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to the other. – It is for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don’t have it all together and are too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace.
It is for the inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker. It is for the poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary faults and limited talents. It is for the earthen vessels who shuffle along on feet of clay. It is for the bent and the bruised who feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God. It is for the smart people who know they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scalawags. – The Ragamuffin Gospel is a book I wrote for myself and anyone who has grown weary and discouraged along the way. Brennan Manning
Jesus shows us what God is truly like.
Easier to understand a God who’s pissed then a God who “Is Love” 1 John 4:8
Jesus shows us a God who loves us extravagantly, and consistently.
Martin Luther reformation
“How is it good news that God rewards the good and punishes the wicked? And how is that news?”
The ‘righteousness of God’ that the bible talks about was not HIS righteousness, but OURS which is available through him.
Central statement of reformation: “Through no merit of ours, but by His mercy, we have been restored to a right relationship with God through the life, death, and resurrection of His beloved Son. This is the Good News, the gospel of grace.”
Brennan (priest / alcoholic) To be alive is to be broken. And to be broken is to stand in need of grace. Honesty keeps us in touch with our neediness and the truth that we are saved sinners. There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are.
We’ve all met someone – determined to impress us by their holiness.
Talking to a friend
Hear someone who acts like they’ve got it all figured out, hard to take them seriously because I know they don’t. – Because none of us do.
Someone who is quick to admit their own shortcomings, that who I want to hear.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners —of whom I am the worst. (1 Timothy 1:15)
“Living by Grace”
Continually acknowledging His Goodness
Even when you fail, Gross
A lot of people think: God’s grace – fresh start, clean slate, but NOW it’s about you.
You were saved through a savior and your relationship with God is maintained through a savior.
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, (Colossians 2:6)
Living by Grace changes you
1. Living by grace brings Trust
Quick Point on Love: Preachers: “Love is a choice.” – Wrong
Love is about caring. Not: feeling that comes and goes, deep affection.
Crazy: Everybody already knows that.
(Think about someone you deeply love.) – Younger
What best describes your experience of love toward them? Choice? Deep Affection?
That affection affect my choices. Obviously.
My caring dictates my choice. Backwards.
God. Loves. You.
Do you believe – cares?
Not: chooses to treat you half way decently.
Affection for you.
Religion can trick us into believing a lot of crazy things.
Abba, Daddy = Not our problem. – Cares for you.
- Abba is not schizophrenic, happy and loving one second, and mad the next. He consistently cares for you.
- Abba is not burning with wrath at the people he created in His own image. He cares for you.
- Abba does not prefer to see you suffering and in pain. He cares for you.
People doubt His goodness, and instead of trust – fear.
Replaced the National Anthem – “So dear to all our hearts is our General’s glorious name,” “Our own beloved Kim Jong-Un of undying fame.”
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
2. Living by grace reminds you of your Spiritual Poverty
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:13)
Brennan Story – $6,000 check.
You were a poor person who received a gift. But we forget that. Been a Christian for a long time, forget that you have no right to be here.
If it weren’t for God’s grace, we’d all have nothing. All is Grace.
(Close your eyes – Room)
Great husband/wife, Beautiful home, Great church , Parents, Salvation, Eternal Life, Righteousness, Peace
You don’t deserve any of this. It’s a gift.
3. Living by grace brings Humility
I don’t have it all together. And neither do you.
We think: If we lie to other and ourselves, then it’s like it doesn’t exist.
Cartoons – coyote walking off a ledge, doesn’t fall until he looks down and notices. So then he doesn’t want to look down.
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: (Luke 18:9 – Pharisee & Tax Collector)
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. (Luke 18:10)
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. (Luke 18:11)
I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ (Luke 18:12)
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ (Luke 18:13)
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves wiLl be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14)
Self Deception takes us out of peace.
B/C – weight is on your shoulders.
Good news : Unfaithful, he remains faithful.
You are righteous, never wear that quite right. – Trust, Humble
The gospel of grace is about God, not you. His faithfulness, His goodness, His trustworthiness, His grace. Your job isn’t to be perfect, your job isn’t to deserve it or earn it. You’re job is to receive His free gift. And trust in His goodness. It’s all a gift. All is grace. Living by grace brings trust. He loves you, He cares for you, he accepts you. Living by grace bring humility. Take the weight of righteousness off of your shoulders and rest in him. His yoke is easy, His burden is light. Even at your worst. Even when you couldn’t deserve it less. He’s steady. He’s reliable. He’s dependable. He’s trustworthy.