The Gospel of Grace. Session 8. Anchored In This Reality.

Quotes taken from Brennan Manning’s Abba’s Child, Chapter Three: The Beloved.

God is asking me, the unworthy, to forget my unworthiness and that of my brothers, and dare to advance in the love which has redeemed and renewed us all in God’s likeness. And to laugh, after all, at the preposterous ideas of ‘worthiness’.

The heart of it is this: to make the Lord and His immense love for you constitutive of your personal worth. Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. God’s love for you and His choice of you constitute your worth. Accept that and let it become the most important thing in your life…I stand anchored now in God before whom I stand naked, this God who tells me, “You are my son, my beloved one.” John Eagan.

Anchored in this reality, our true self needs neither a muted trumpet to herald our arrival nor a gaudy soapbox to rivet attention from others. We give glory to God simply by being ourselves. God created us for union with Himself: This is the original purpose in our lives. And God is defined by love (1 John 4: 16). Living in the awareness of our belovedness is the axis around which the Christian life revolves. Being the beloved is our identity, the core of our existence. It is not merely a lofty thought, an inspiring idea, or one name among many. It is the name by which God knows us and the way He relates to us.

On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

Thanks to hymn writer, Edward Mote, 1797-1874.

While I’ve always sung Mote’s words knowing that it was Jesus Christ who will always be my Rock of Gibraltar, I’m now beginning to see, through the help of my author friend, Brennan Manning, that it is on Jesus Christ, that same Solid Rock, where I will also find my true identity.

As I see it, the more I’m anchored in the reality that God, my Father, has always seen me, and will always see me as His beloved child, the more I will realize that there is nothing I can do down here on planet earth that will change or disrupt the reality of amazing grace. Wow! And when the truth of God’s Gospel of Grace actually begins to settle deep down in my soul, that old people-pleasing spirit that drives so many of us will just have to take a hike!

No longer will we need, as Manning says it, a muted trumpet to herald our arrival at a party or a gaudy soapbox on which we can expound our great wisdom. No longer do I need to peddle the wheels of the 3-B Syndrome exercise bike, working busily at my pastoral job so that I might become the ‘success’ I’ve always dreamed I’d be. No longer is my worth attached to my job. No longer do I need to do nice things in order for God to smile upon my life. No longer does this ugly rat have to chase the smelly cheese, hoping someday I just might catch it and turn into the true prince I always hoped I might become.

On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand.

And in His presence, I’m just fine, thank you. I’m complete while being half-baked. I’m whole, yet in truth, I leak. I’m unique, and yes, I’m unusual. Cuddly but weird. Humorous, and yet goofy.

But you know the very best part? I’m loved, and can you really believe it, even liked, just as I am! And as God’s beloved, I’m never alone. Never abandoned. Never forgotten. Never left out. Gosh, from God’s perspective, I’m not even forgettable!

Well, excuse me for rambling on here, but I’m getting just a bit giddy at the thought of standing on this Solid Rock for eternity. As Brennan Manning might state it, I’m close to being attacked by an unrelenting flock of the ‘happies’!

How about you?

Now that my true identity is being found in Christ alone, I’m beginning to appreciate even more the last verse of Edward Mote’s great hymn. Sing along with me, will you?

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

Amen and amen.

My prayer: Lord, this view of myself, as seen from Your perspective, is mind-boggling. As Your beloved son, who is loved and liked deeply, not because of my works, but because of Your grace, this truth is giving me a perspective that is truly out-of-this-world. I thank You for Your amazing Gospel of Grace, good news that is found only on the Solid Rock, Jesus Christ, alone. For Your name’s sake. Amen.

My questions to ponder: So if God truly sees all of us as beloved children, worthy of all of His love, even while we are still sinners, what changes do I need to make in 1) my view of myself, and 2) my view of others around me? How have I accepted lesser truths (shifting & sinking sand) to stand on when I look at the worthiness of myself and others?

So what is God speaking to you today about His Gospel of Grace?

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6 thoughts on “The Gospel of Grace. Session 8. Anchored In This Reality.

  1. Always enjoy your thoughtful reflections, Marty. Wish I had this 16 years ago when I pastored a rural church in West Central Minnesota. God loved me just as much then as He does today but I was so driven to achieve to win His approval.

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  2. My prayer is that everyone experiences being attacked by a flock of the “happies”, the overwhelming joy that only can be found in Jesus! From an unexpected smile that comes across your face to a a surprise bout of laughter, the kind that makes you snort!
    There is nothin like it!

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  3. I think sinking sand is what I had known for so long before I knew the Lord. When I started to accept that this wasn’t ok and God has something better, solid rock unto which I can stand, then I began to more towards Him. I am learning that this isn’t a long journey at all, as His solid rock is under my feet and His blood is in my heart…

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