Not Opposed to Effort: The Work of Discipleship

Grace is not enough.

That sentence alone will send the reformed crowd into orbit, and it just might make the rest of you scramble for Bible verses that refute works-based righteousness.

But when I was recently asked to comment on Christian discipleship today, I could not help but think that grace is not enough.

Obviously the truth of that statement relies on one’s definitions of “grace” and “enough.”

If grace is defined as God’s unbelievable act of reconciling humanity and all things to himself through the work of his Son, Jesus

The Impossibility of the Past

I sat in my chair in our livingroom going through a folder with our family history (on my mother's side) in it. My suburban hands don't show it, but I actually come from rather hearty stock. My grandfather was a soldier and a blacksmith. My grandmother worked at everything from farming to factory sewing.

I looked at faces past and reminisced a little. It's strange, but whether I'm going through photo albums of extended family history, or just going through our own immediate family history, I'm often gripped by a strange sense of melancholy. This isn't because of time wasted. Believe it or not, I actually appreciated and savored every moment - of my children's lives, of being alive, even of the music and fashion of the day. In fact, at times my memories have soundtracks and smells associated with them because I remembered to cherish those moments. It occurs to me that I visit the past rightly - to remember, to learn, to appreciate how fleeting time actually is. But many actually live with their heads straining for the past while their feet try to move through the present.

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