Good Grace Leads To Life

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.
–Proverbs 14:27

I remember when my wife, Amy, and I took our first vacation with both of our girls. Julia was about five years old and Dorothy was about two, and we drove to Colorado Springs. One day we decided to drive up to the top of Pike’s Peak. We went round and round and round, and finally we got up to the top of the mountain. It was a beautiful sight, but we were surprised that there were no guard rails anywhere. Suddenly, Julia started racing as fast as she could to the edge of that mountain. Amy and I yelled out in unison, “STOP! STOP!” and thankfully, Julia froze.

Were we trying to restrict Julia’s happiness? Were we trying to prevent her from having some wonderful experience? No, we were keeping her from going over the cliff. That is why we told her to stop. Her obedience to our command resulted in life instead of death.

It is the same for us. God has put certain boundaries and restrictions in place for our benefit. Yet there is a lie that the enemy has tried to whisper into our ears since the beginning of time: obedience to God leads to misery. You see, we have this idea that the freedom to do what we want to do leads to happiness, while obeying God leads to unhappiness. Deep down, we think God is some cosmic killjoy, and the reason He gives us boundaries for our behavior is to restrict our happiness. We think these rules, these standards of behavior, really are for God’s benefit rather than for ours.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. The reason God has given us certain restrictions even though we live under grace is not for His benefit but for ours. In essence, that is the difference between good grace and bad grace.

Good grace recognizes that there are boundaries that are given for our benefit, not for our detriment. Bad grace removes all barriers and standards for behavior.

Good grace recognizes that we should establish boundaries for other people’s behavior toward us. Bad grace demands that we endure unlimited abuse from others.

Good grace will always motivate a child of God to cling as closely to his heavenly Father as possible. Bad grace will encourage a child of God to live as close to the edge of disobedience as possible.

Good grace leads to life; bad grace leads to death.

***

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Grace Escape” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2020.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org

 

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