To be discipled by a man of grace
The picture above with Steve Murrell was taken on a boat trip in the Sea of Galillee. Hardly a week (in 28 years) goes by that I don’t thank God that I was discipled by a man who understands grace.
It takes grace to move to the Philippines 30 years ago with a young wife and stay to learn and imbibe a culture not your own. And it takes grace to walk away from a family business to be a missionary in a third world nation.
Steve’s depth of understanding grace is exhibited in a life lived in over 31 years of marriage, the raising of three adult disciples of Christ in his own home and a ministry that spans the world. He has co-authored a book that has over 800,000 copies in print, translated into different languages, more significantly one that has helped countless in their walk with God.
I always ask myself, how does he stay so humble. I guess by grace. A visit to Steve’s site will give you a taste of his life and ministry. I just read his recent post and found myself thanking God (again) for his understanding of grace.
I have reposted his recent article on grace here:
MANILA. It seems like the doctrine of God’s grace is being preached, taught, blogged, and tweeted more than ever. That’s a good thing. But sometimes what is being preached, taught, blogged, and tweeted about grace is misunderstood, misapplied, and misinterpreted. That is not a good thing.
A couple of weeks ago Victory hosted our second Every Nation Worship Writers’ Workshop with twenty-five worship writers from Singapore, India, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, Guam, and the Philippines. Don’t worry, I was not singing or writing. I was teaching the Bible in order to give our writers ideas for worship songs.
One topic I talked about was God’s transformational grace. I tried to communicate that grace not only forgives us, it also transforms us from the inside out. I challenged our writers to compose worship songs about the power of God’s grace to change us. They wrote some great songs that I am sure you will sing in your church and in Every Nation conferences over the next few years.
Why write songs about God’s transformational grace? It has become common to hear a “grace” preached and sung today that has little resemblance to biblical grace. Modern grace erases the guilt of sin, but does not break the power of sin. Biblical grace forgives and transforms.
Here are a couple of verses about God’s transformational grace.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age Titus 2:11,12
According to Paul, grace not only forgives sin, it teaches us to say NO to sin. It also teaches us to live self-controlled and godly lives. Grace is not a license to continue in sin, but a license to arrest sin.
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Romans 5:17
In this passage, Paul is teaching the Romans that they can “reign in life” not by human effort and religious affiliation, but by receiving “God’s abundant provision of grace.” God’s grace is abundant and it empowers us to reign, to overcome, to be victorious.
Grace is supposed to change us. Is His grace changing you?
I’d appreciate your comments to Steve’s question above and any insights you might have.