“Grace. It’s what we crave most when our guilt is exposed. It’s the very thing we are hesitant to extend when we are confronted with the guilt of others—especially when their guilt has robbed us of something we consider valuable.
Therein is the struggle, the struggle for grace. It’s this struggle that makes grace more story than doctrine. It’s the struggle that reminds us that grace is bigger than compassion or forgiveness. That struggle is the context for both. When we are on the receiving end, grace is refreshing. When it is required of us, it is often disturbing. But when correctly applied, it seems to solve just about everything. This struggle is not new; it has been going on since the beginning.”
We find in the pages of Scripture that the stories found there often mirror our own stories, and that we too need the very thing we do not deserve: the grace of God.
From the beginning, the church has had an uneasy relationship with grace. The gravitational pull is always toward graceless religion. The odd thing is that when you read the New Testament, the only thing Jesus stood against consistently was graceless religion. The only group he attacked relentlessly was graceless religious leaders.
Even now as you think about grace, there might be a little voice in your head whispering, “It can’t be that easy!”
“What about obedience?”
“What about disobedience?”
“What about repeated misbehavior?”
“What about bad habits?”
“What about justice?”
“What about repentance?”
It’s this tension that makes grace so slippery. But that’s the beauty and the truth of grace. We don’t deserve it. We can’t earn it. It can’t be qualified. But God gives it to us anyway because he loves us unconditionally.
The story of grace is your story. And as you are about to discover grace plays a larger role than you imagine.
|About the Contributor(s)||
Communicator, author, and pastor, Andy Stanley founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries in 1995. Today, NPM is comprised of six churches in the Atlanta area, serving more than 36,000 people weekly, as well as a network of 30 churches around the globe. As host of NBC’s Your Move with Andy Stanley, reaching over 36 million viewers in less than two years on the air, and author of 20-plus books including Ask It, How to Be Rich, Deep & Wide, Visioneering, and Next Generation Leader, he is considered one of the most influential living pastors in America. Andy Stanley and his wife, Sandra, have three grown children and live near Atlanta.
|Release Date||Sep 13, 2011|
- Review by Rochelle C.
I just noticed that it has a pattern. It divides into two parts which roughly reflect the Old and New Testaments, each chapter of which retells a particular Bible story (e.g. creation, Joseph, King David), with a particular and applicable focus on how the grace of God is demonstrated.
He also uses personal stories from his own life to reveal how grace is not a natural response but is the most essential one. Stanley has also the ability to tell familiar stories in a way which highlights things you might not have spotted the first time in a way that’s easy to read and can bring you close to laughter or tears.
Although the cover page was different from what I received, the Title of the book really captured my attention. It made me question myself of this: “Have I really met God’s Grace in my life?“. Personally, this book inspired me and challenged me to live a life full of God’s Grace. It made me realize how the Grace of God should be taken for granted (as what most Christians tend to do, whether intentionally or unintentionally). Besides, none of us deserves what God offers.
Also, Andy really made a good job in conveying the Biblical truth abouth Grace in such a way that everybody could understand. And was right when he said this in his book:
“Grace is birthed from hopeless inequity. Grace is the offer of exactly what we do not deserve. Thus, it cannot be recognized or recieved until we are aware of precisely how undeserving we really are. It is the knowledge of what we do not deserve that allows us to receive grace for what it is. UNMERITED. UNEARNED. UNDESERVED. For that reason, grace can only be experienced by those who acknowledge they are undeserving.”
I’d probably recommend this to the people who admit they are, in no way, deserving to experience the Grace of God.
I would also love to recommend this book to the Christians who are creating churches that unchurched people love to attend, churches where the grace of God is not just talked about but modeled and celebrated.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. (Posted on 11/12/2012)