This week’s lesson was perfect for me personally this week. Instead of condemning myself for my mistakes (which I shared here at the blog yesterday), I have been able to press on and in closer to the Lord and receive his acceptance, love, forgiveness and encouragement. Thank you for your kind emails. I appreciate it very much!
You know, legalism lurks in the most innocuous of places in our lives. If we aren’t careful, we can be taken by surprise…and even taken hostage. This week in Lesson 5, we had a chance to evaluate this and expose the legalism wherever it was found. Grace is there–abundant and free–ready to wash over, in, and through us! Like a raft floating down a river, let’s rest and let the current of grace carry us along. This isn’t a “devil-may-care” attitude. We know that Titus 2 says “This same grace that brings salvation teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions…” But we also know that God has promised that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1). We embrace the truth that God has demonstrated his love before we ever have done a single thing that could possibly have “earned” it. In fact, we could not earn it. Period.
In the video below, I share with you as if we were sitting in my living room (or a hotel room in Houston, Texas, as the case may be!).
There is an activity on the bottom of page 89 called “Walking on the Tightrope of Perfection.” I couldn’t actually do this with you for obvious reasons. 🙂 So I used video clips of young women I accessed on a service I subscribe to. When you get to the first one, I am sure you will see why I say doing this actually was so hard for me. In fact, it broke my heart. It was really hard for me to do this activity–even in this format! I can’t imagine how I would feel if we were together trying to do the activity as it is written. I hope that it somehow ministers to you–even with it’s “shock value.” :-/
What creating (and editing) this video did, though, was to help me to ask God to make me sensitive to where legalism exists in my life at all and where it is expressed to others. If someone–like my daughter, son, my husband–was on the tightrope (that you will see in this video), would the way I live be more congruent with saying those things? I hope not! I fear that the answer is yes.
And then I also wonder if I do that to myself as well. If I am the girl on the tightrope, do I shout at myself some of the awful things that I say on the video to the girl trying desperately to perform, to walk on the tightrope while balancing something on her head, using one foot to move a hubcap on the line, holding the pole around her shoulders–all without “messing up?” As you watch the video, you may evaluate if you do it to yourself as well!
Anyhow, if you watch the video below, please know during the tightrope section that I was VERY uncomfortable with that. Don’t hold it against me. It is a dramatization only!
Enough with the disclaimers! LOL! Before you begin the video, please read Psalm 139 out loud. Ask God to continue to help you to know the truths of the Psalm full well.
Please share in the comments section below:
- From your study this week How does God want to lavish his grace upon you?
- How have you lived under legalism rather than grace?
- What does the verse 1 Corinthians 6:12 mean to you?: Everything is permissible for me but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.
- What did you think of the tightrope illustration/activity in the video? What have you learned? How can you apply what you have learned to your own life?
- Do the journaling questions on page 90 and share the answers to any of them that you feel comfortable doing so. For those of you without the book, here is the activity–you can join us! Make a list of your favorite foods. Do you allow yourself to eat all of these foods? Without mentally counting up the calories? Why or why not? Which foods do you ever restrict yourself from having? Are any of these foods ever stumbling blocks for you? What does God’s grace seem to indicate?
- Share your thoughts about the following verses:
Finally, how can we be praying for you?
I hope that evaluating your life, thinking, speaking for ways in which legalism might be present has been helpful for you. More, I hope you will join me in recommitting to being people of grace. Jesus paid the price of all sin on the cross. All shame for sin was paid for too. One benefit of that payment on our behalf is that we might continue, forever, in the grace of God as an ongoing pardon, provision, power, and presence (of God) in our lives!