Loving a Gracious Truth

grace and truth

 

“You’re either too hard or too soft on her. You need to find a balance of being the disciplinarian and loving father instead of either or.” 

It’s become a mantra that my wife often repeats to me in my relations with our oldest daughter Keira. You see, it’s not that I am this strict disciplinarian all the time, everyday of her life. No, the problem lies in the fact that one day I am a strict disciplinarian and then on another day, Keira can do no wrong. On any given day, my watchful eye sees everything she has done wrong and holds her accountable to her actions while on other days, I hand out free passes like its Christmas. I struggle to find the balance of holding her accountable and allowing her to be a kid and make mistakes. I desire to be a father who teaches Keira how to live this life in the way of Jesus, pointing her to the all encompassing, never-failing, unending love of Jesus. I desire to teach her about what it means to live for Jesus and how we got about that in the truths we find in the scriptures. I also want her to know that in our mistakes, there is forgiveness and an extension of latitude.

 

I want her to know the love we find in Jesus…

I want her to know the grace we find in Jesus…

I want her to know the truth we find in Jesus…

 

My struggles as a father to find the balance of being a disciplinarian and loving father is not unlike our struggles as christians to find the balance of displaying grace as we speak truth into the lives of other people. It’s not like we are intentionally trying to struggle with this issue. However, sometimes we let truth get in the way of offering grace and often let grace get in the way of speaking and teaching the truths of Jesus. I will be the first to raise my hand and admit to this struggle. There are days where I am more gracious than I need to be and others where truth is the only thing that matters. The problem is that we tend to gravitate to one side of the equation…either we believe grace abounds or truth avails. Why can’t it be both? Why can’t grace be displayed as we teach the truth? Why can’t we teach the truth surrounded and immersed in grace? Jesus desires for us…

 

To show love…

To display grace…

To speak truth…

 

Those three things are not separate from each other in any form or fashion, we need all three to work in a cohesive manner for this life in Jesus to work. Just as we see with the Triune Godhead (God, the Father, God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit) who work in one accord and never apart from each other. The same can be said for love, grace, and truth. They are interconnected and immersed in each other. They run parallel of each other and are intertwined through each other.

 

Father + Son + Spirit = Life

Love + Grace + Truth = Life

 

We are called to love others as the Father has loved us and gave us his son for the payment of our brokenness and sins. It is only through the love from God that we are able to love others. Regardless of background, past history, nationality, sexual orientation or preference, we are to love people with a love that consumes them to know Jesus and live for Jesus. 

We are called to display grace in all that we say or do to others. We must remember that the grace we receive is something we really don’t deserve, however, because we serve a gracious God and Savior, he freely gives it to us so that we can be united in him for the rest of eternity. Everyone we encounter in this life should see a gracious person living in the light of a gracious God willing to offer a gracious way to be reconnected to him. 

We are called to live, speak, and teach truth. We are all broken and desolate people in desperate need of a risen savior who has power over sin and death. However, unless we run to Jesus and away from our brokenness, we are destine to spend the rest of forever separated from our creator. This is a universal truth that needs to be known, needs to be taught, needs to be spoken. We must not shy away in fear from this truth. We must stand for the cause of Christ. Jesus said that he did not come to this world to abolish the law, but he came that the law would be lived out perfectly which would allow him to be the perfect payment for our sins.

 

We are called to Love…

We are called to Grace…

We are called to Truth…

 

In the scriptures, the follower John writes in his gospel that Jesus was the “word” and the word was with God and the word “was” God. This is a pretty powerful and profound statement to make in his day and age. Here he was claiming that Jesus was not only sent by God to save us, but more so, Jesus WAS GOD! So this man who had flesh as we do, who had emotions as we do, who had temptations as we do was fully human and yet at the same time, was fully God. 

 

He was human in the flesh…

He was savior in the flesh…

He was God in the flesh…

 

It doesn’t stop there however, John doesn’t stop there with the parallels and the immersion of more than one entity or characteristics. John compounds this god/man with another parallel. Not only was the Son of God, God himself, not only did the Son of God who was God himself became flesh, not only did the Son of God who had become flesh come to live among humans, but also the Son of God who was God himself who became flesh and arrived to dwell among us came in the fullness of his glory… full of GRACE AND TRUTH. 

 

You can’t separate the two…

You can’t have grace without truth…

You can’t have truth without grace…

 

My call as a father is to love Keira with everything I’ve got and to lead her in a life filled with and surrounded and immersed in the name of Jesus. I am to love and offer grace and latitude to her so that she can do the same to others all the while teaching her what it means to live for Jesus and helping her understand the errors of her mistakes. Just as Jesus does for his followers and God does for his creation, I need to do for my daughters. 

In the same way, as followers of Jesus, we need to take to this world the love, grace, and truth of Jesus. We are the light as the follower Matthew tells us. We are a light in the darken world and only we have the truth, grace, and love that can save this world. We need to take ALL of it to the people. Not just love, not just grace, and not just truth, but all of it. 

 

“We show love as we display grace while we’re speaking and teaching truth.” 

 

May you know and feel the love of Jesus…

May you know and display the grace of Jesus…

May you know and live the truth of Jesus…

And may you boldly, proudly, intentionally show love, display grace, and teach the truth.

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