Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gripping Grace

Such a vivid image is conjured up with the term grip, or gripping.  It's a word we readily identify as we read through a suspenseful book, or we bite our lips over a particularly dramatic movie (can anyone say "Raiders of the Lost Ark"?), or as we yank our jacket - or worse, our hand - from the now-shut car door.   It's far more cunning if we're attempting to give up smoking (how well I remember!), or any other bad habit. 

The scripture weaves a powerful thread throughout it's many pages about grip's power.  Depending on context, it's either a good thing, or a not-so-good thing.   

In the opening salvo of Luke's Gospel, we are gripped right along with the man-Priest Zechariah:   Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him (Zechariah), standing at the right side of the altar of incense.  When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. (vs 11-12).   I mean, who wouldn't be should Mr. Angel creature show up for a tete a tete?

Yep.  Gripping is most often married to startling, and it quite often entails shock & awe.

Most of the time we wriggle free of that which grips us.  The book ends; the movie too.  We pull ourselves free of the car door.  But, according to the scriptures, there are two grips against which we have no pulling power.  Their hold is firm - unrelenting, unending, and un-releasing.   

The one is sin. 
The other is God's saving grace.

Before the coming of this faith, 
we were held in custody under the law, 
locked up until the faith 
that was to come would be revealed. 
So the law was our guardian until 
Christ came that we might be justified by faith.  
Now that this faith has come, 
we are no longer under a guardian.   
~ Galatians 3:23-26   

I've not read it, but Max Lucado has even penned a book about the tenacity of grace's grip.  I love it's tagline:

Your Father Always Caught You. He Still Does. 

Some things seek to grip me still (thank goodness, NOT smoking).  But nothing can equal this oft-misunderstood & maligned commodity called grace.  

From the Law's grip to the Lord's.  Now that's gripping!

For sin shall no longer be your master,
because you are not under the law, 
but under grace.  
~ Romans 6:14

Jesus prayed ...  "Father, the hour has come. 
Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  
For you granted him authority over all people 
that he might give eternal life 
to all those you have given him.  
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, 
the only true God, and Jesus Christ, 
whom you have sent. 
~ John 17:1-3


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

Great post! I'm so thankful for God's tenacious grip.

Susan :)

pbus1 said...

Praise God!!! I thank Him for His grace, God's Riches At Christ's Expense! "Now that's gripping!" Truly a wonderful post! I am glad I stopped by.


Peggy said...

Gripping Grace-I love it! And love this post and the reminder of a grace that does not let go.

Nancy said...

Thank goodness He does not and will not ever let us go.....Grace for every need.....

Great post....

Denise said...

Thanks for a wonderful post sweety, bless you.

Karen Lange said...

I love this comparison! What a good thing to ponder, for it provides good images.
Blessings friend,

Just a little something from Judy said...

I can't wait to read Max's book. The longer I go in my Christian life, the more I see "gripping Grace" become a reality. I love how you shared this. Every single thing about me today, is only because of God's amazing grip of Grace on me. It is an overwhelming thought and true thanksgiving follows every thought.

LisaShaw said...

"The one is sin.
The other is God's saving grace."

AMEN and AMEN!!!

Powerful post Kathleen. I'm thankful that God's saving grace is all over us through Christ or ELSE...where would we be? I dread to think but "the wages of sin is death."

Love you!