Grace and Truth

"For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."  John 1:17

In the first Rocky movie, there's a conversation between Rocky and his friend, Paulie, in which Paulie is trying to understand Rocky's attraction to Adrian Pennino.  Rocky says to Paulie, “She's got gaps, I've got gaps, together we fill gaps.”

It's a bit off the mark, but the part that rings true is that we all have gaps, don't we?

The ideal family has the perfect balance of grace and truth:  Rules and boundaries to keep us safe, and love to hold us, encourage us, and pick us up when we fall short of the goal.

But, none of us grew up with that perfect balance.  We either grew up in a family leaning towards truth with little grace, appearing judgmental, harsh and mean; or, we experienced more grace than truth, with no boundaries and safety nets to protect us.  Some families even make wide pendulum swings between the two approaches in an effort to regulate themselves, which is often even more confusing for those growing up in that environment.

The beauty of a relationship with Jesus Christ is that He embodies all grace and all truth in perfect balance.  His perfect love casts out the fear of punishment (1 John 4:18), and His truth sets us free (John 8:32).  We are free to soar beyond anything this earth has ever imagined when we walk in obedience to Him.  

Some people I've talked to find that last sentence nearly impossible to grasp.  They say, "How can I find freedom in obedience to someone or something?"

But, it's true.

When that someone is Jesus, who loves you in a way no one else ever has or ever will, it is freeing.

2 John 1:3 says, "Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son, in truth and love."

Galatians 3:22 exhorts, "But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ."

And, 2 Corinthians 3:17 tells us, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."

You've got gaps, I've got gaps.  But Jesus, He fills gaps.

Goodnight, Runners.

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