Thursday, April 27, 2006

Between Two Lines

[My mother] taught me to live my life between two lines of "Amazing Grace." The first line: "'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far." The second line: "And grace will lead me home." ...believing the first line fortifies faith in the second line; and believing the second line empowers radical obedience to Jesus.
--John Piper, Future Grace


I've had the book Future Grace for a while; I only got about halfway through it four years ago. But now, in a totally different season of life, I feel compelled to try again. And the "grace awakening" I have experienced since the last time I picked it up is making everything fresh and astounding.

John Piper proposes that for too long, the church has set forth "gratitude" as "the driving force in authentic Christian living." While in reality, the Bible teaches that although gratitude is crucial--indeed, how could we be anything but grateful for what God has done for us?--it cannot be this "driving force." It does not have the power. Instead, "faith in future grace" is what can and must propel us to follow Christ wholeheartedly and faithfully.

This seems nearly revolutionary to me. Gratitude has certainly been at the heart of my thinking. And yet, as I ponder, it seems that God is fleshing out more deeply one of the "life themes" He has placed on my heart over the last year. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've heard me talk about "forget not." I have been thoroughly convicted of the desperate need for remembering God's past faithfulness--in my own life and as recorded in His Word.

But now I am beginning to realize that this theme God has stirred up in me is really another way of saying, "live between the two lines of 'Amazing Grace.'" It is remembering what God has done so that you can have a bolstered faith in what God will do. It is seeing how God has kept His promises so that you can believe that He will continue to keep His promises!

2 comments:

Laura said...

Hi,

I found your blog through one of your comments on Carolyn McCulley's blog. Your series on the cross-centered life was really insightful, as I just read C.J. Mahaney's book last month. I, too, was in a spiritual dry spell about a year ago and I've been astounded with where God has brought me in the last year. I'm encouraged knowing there is someone out there interested in the same books and authors I am (really, your Amazon wishlist is remarkably similar to my own).

I hope you don't mind me reading your blog :)

~Laura

angela said...

Future Grace is on my "to read this summer" list. Unfortunately, the school year is a time taskmaster! =)