In my earlier post I discussed finding Grace, and how it tangibly set me free from the sin of lust. I told of the eye covenant and how God’s grace was sufficient to break the porn habit. In this post I will share two books I’ve read that I highly encourage the reader to review if you are looking to better understand grace and freedom from sin.
As I reflect on grace, and my understanding of it, I realize that there was something missing in my understanding. It was laid out for me in the first chapter of the book Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer where I discovered a deeper understanding of Grace. In his first chapter Bonhoeffer discusses the concept of cheap grace vs. real grace. Simply put, it changed my understanding of Grace. It opened my eyes to the false doctrine of grace I had learned. Cheap grace only empowers you to make it to the next time you fall in sin- for me, lusting or looking at porn. I thought grace kept me afloat between the times I fell. Woah! How far off was I?! I urge you to read his book to find out about the cost of discipleship, the rewards of discovering a costly grace – a grace that will help you break free from what binds you. Freedom from giving into temptations – Grace to withstand the temptation.
“This cheap grace has been no less disastrous to our own spiritual lives. Instead of opening up the way to Christ it has closed it. Instead of calling us to follow Christ, it has hardened us in our disobedience. Perhaps we had once heard the gracious call to follow him, and had at this command even taken the first few steps along the path of discipleship in the discipline of obedience, only to find ourselves confronted by the word of cheap grace. Was that not merciless and hard? The only effect that such a word could have on us was to bar our way to progress, and seduce us to the mediocre level of the world, quenching the joy of discipleship by telling us that we were following a way of our own choosing, that we were spending our strength and disciplining ourselves in vain — all of which was not merely useless, but extremely dangerous. After all, we were told, our salvation had already been accomplished by the grace of God. The smoking flax was mercilessly extinguished. It was unkind to speak to men like this, for such a cheap offer could only leave them bewildered and tempt them from the way to which they had been called by Christ. Having laid hold on cheap grace, they were barred for ever from the knowledge of costly grace. Deceived and weakened, men felt that they were strong now that they were in possession of this cheap grace — whereas they had in fact lost the power to live the life of discipleship and obedience. The word of cheap grace has been the ruin of more Christians than any commandment of works.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Cost of Discipleship
Only through Jesus is there victory over sin. Gods grace is sufficient to keep me clean and pure of sin. His grace is only good for one day in that it requires a new dose every day, it makes you dependent on Him for purity. I realize I cannot hold up enough grace for tomorrow. I realize His grace is manna from heaven for purity. And manna is only good for one day, but it is given every day. I receive it through prayer and meditating on Gods word. Jesus is there as a brother, as a friend to encourage me in my walk. When I fall, it is His hand I will feel lift me back up. This fullness of grace is covered in depth in Good or God by John Bevere. Yet another book that I read that had a drastic impact on how I viewed grace – and my own efforts. I realized I could do nothing on my own, that grace was completely a gift of God, and I need it refreshed every day.
God introduced grace as the impartation of the fullness of Jesus Christ. That speaks of possessing His nature and empowerment!
May God give you more and more grace…by his divine power [grace], God has given us everything we need for
living a godly life. (2 Peter 1:2—3 NLT)
When it comes to empowerment, the gift of grace is not a one-time occurrence at the moment of salvation. It is something we need continually; we need “more and more grace.” This is why we are told, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may…find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). It’s the fuel we need in our tank!
-John Bevere, Good or God
A Prayer in Grace
Our souls cry out for you Jesus! Release the harvest of joy in You Lord! We cry out for renewal and healing. Our tears are watering your harvest. Turn our hearts to you Lord! We trust you, O Lord, that You are faithful. Seeds of integrity, of righteousness, of peace, of honor to you, let them reap a great harvest and reward. May your spirit of Joy be a salve to our hearts, to soften and restore Lord. Too long have we endured, to your Glory. Your Grace is sufficient, please bring resolution. You are the only solution, You great Lover of our souls. Let us laugh at the enemy, let us rejoice in Unity and healing. May we prepare our hearts for You to dwell in us!
God, I give You all my heart, cleanse it. Show me Your ways, Your power, Your authority, Your Kingdom, Your Commands. I look for You at the depth of sorrow and joy, fierce anguish and amazing peace. How can this be? Except to know the depth of Jesus and Your suffering and the love You have for us. May Your love flow through me to those around me and in my life. May my heart be renewed so I can find You and show You to others. May Your ways and will be my guiding path. May I not forget Your grace. I seek You and my heart calls out for more. More of You in my life, less of me, less of the world. Help me to demonstrate You through my actions and words. May I show You to those around me. I want to be found in Your Grace, your Truth, Your blessing and favor, your holiness and power. Nobody else will do! No other power or strength can match yours, or Lord! Forgive me Lord for putting myself and others on the throne of my heart. I lay my crown down at your feet for your glory. You alone are worthy of my worship and praise. May I love those you have put in my life, past, present and future. May I always see them as Your children. May I always have my heart tuned to your channel so I only hear love, power and have a sound mind. Please rebuke the enemy, the prince of the air, who is a liar and deceives me to think I have no power. I can do all things through You Jesus, Spirit of Truth, Peace, Grace, Holiness. May it be! Amen.