Grace continues to fill my thoughts. How can something so simple be so confusing? I like what Andrew Wommack always says, “It’s so simple, you need someone to help you misunderstand it.”
The more I press in and explore my journey in grace, the more I see grace used by some to excuse and condone attitudes and lifestyles that are clearly not the heart of the Father. I scratch my head and wonder what is going on.
So again, I ask and pray, Father, for my eyes to be opened so I can see, and my ears to hear, and a heart that understands.
CLEANSED VS. BEING MADE WELL
As I read Colossians I observe that grace and doing the will of the Father go hand-in-hand. Paul reveals that receiving the message of grace in truth leads to growing in:
- The knowledge of His will
- Spiritual wisdom
As I ponder this, I keep thinking about the story of the 10 lepers (Book of Luke, chapter 17). Jesus healed all ten (p.s. they weren’t healed until they obeyed his instruction to go present themselves to the priests. THEN they were healed on the way there. That’s a good lesson about faith.). Only one returned to His presence.
The one who returned wasn’t healed because he loved Jesus and gave thanks. The healing was offered first (grace). However, the one that returned to worship, give thanks, and remain in His presence is the one who understood grace. The other’s did not.
The one who returned received the greater blessing!
I wonder what happened to the nine who received a physical healing but went on their way? What happened to the one that stayed behind?
From my perspective, the one who returned was the one who truly believed in and loved Jesus. He received the grace God offered, not just a physical healing. This man did nothing different before Jesus offered the healing, however, he is the only one that returned to receive all that Jesus had to offer.
Jesus came to redeem us Body, Soul, and Spirit. The gospel is about more than just our spirit being saved. He provided the way for wholeness in our body and emotions.
THE ONE WHO RETURNED RECEIVED GRACE
The one (former) leper returned because the kindness of God compelled Him to love Jesus and abide in His presence.
THAT is grace received!
The other nine received a touch of the Lord. They were made well – but did they love and believe in Jesus? I think not. (in my opinion)
All ten lepers were offered and given the exact same thing. “Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner (non-Jew)?” And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.” (emphasis mine.)
- Only one returned and gave thanks.
- Nine were only cleansed. They were not made well.
- One was made whole.
- All of them had the exact same opportunity and the same healing offered.
The gift of healing, wholeness and the love offered were the exact same for all ten men. Only one made the decision to love in return. His choice (his faith) made him completely well.
Is this not the message of grace?! Are we not set free from sin? Many celebrate the salvation offered to all but continue on with their lives and nothing changes. They don’t pursue God, they don’t return to sit in the presence of the Holy One. They don’t worry if they are living holy or godly lives because they think “they are under grace.” Yet they are the ones who miss out on being made well and whole.
BE THE ONE WHO RETURNED
I say to you, that if we understood the grace of truth, we would be the one leper who returned to give thanks and enjoy His presence because we are so overwhelmed with love and gratitude for the kindness of God’s grace! We would be compelled to increase in spiritual wisdom and knowledge and to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord out of love and gratitude (not out of duty). Nor would we give excuses for why we don’t need to be in His Word, or in His presence – thinking that being “under grace” gives us a pass. That’s not grace. That’s looking for a reason to not come up further into the presence of God.
Be the one who returns.