Full Of Grace AND Truth

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  (John 1:4, NIV)
I love that John describes Jesus as being full of grace (God’s unmerited favor) AND truth.  Jesus came to love people and show them God’s grace in a personal and tangible way.  We see Him loving people everywhere He goes.  The woman at the well.  The woman caught in adultery.  The man born blind.  Jairus, the synagogue leader whose daughter died.  The 5,000 who needed to be fed.  Jesus loved people and demonstrated God’s grace to them over and over and over again.
He also spoke truth everywhere He went.  “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!”  “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  “But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  He said some pretty tough things.  I did a brief sermon series called “Tough Pill To Swallow” on some of the tough things that Jesus said.  It was hard for His followers and His critics to hear some of the Truths that He taught.  It’s still hard.
But Jesus was not just love, love, love all the time.  He was not just truth, truth, truth all the time.  He was the perfect balance of love AND truth.  How can we be more like Him?  How can we demonstrate God’s love while preaching the Truth to those who so desperately need to hear it?  I think that we, as Christians, need to reach out to those around us in love in order to gain an audience that will hear the Truth of Jesus Christ.  We are often accused of hatred and bigotry.  What better way to answer our critics than with love and acceptance of people.  We never accept sinful behavior, but we must always accept sinners.  After all, we were all once alienated from and enemies of God” (Colossians 1:21) and He reconciled us to Himself through Jesus.  Let us love and accept those who are far from God that they might want to hear His Truth and turn to Him for forgiveness.
PRAYER: Help me to find the balance, O God, between grace and truth.  May I share Your love with the world and stand up for the truth of Your Word.  Help me to live for Jesus today and to become more like Him – full of grace AND truth.  Amen.

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