The Grace and Truth Tension August 21-25
One of today’s most challenging issues is trying to balance grace and truth. Whether on issues of sexuality, race, politics, or a host of other “hot button” issues, Jesus followers struggle to relationally navigate how to love people in our polarized world. What makes this so difficult is that some Christian beliefs or truths are considered hateful and harmful in themselves. And regardless of how kind you may be towards others, for some, the position itself is considered harmful. In these situations, it comes down to how we handle grace and truth. It can be challenging or awkward to live in the tension of showing grace and showing truth. We may not always get it right, but we can do our best to follow Jesus’ example of being full of grace and truth with both rooted in love.
Day 1 John 1:14-17
Reflect: Why do you think John focused on the two qualities of grace and truth when describing Jesus? Describe the difference between the Old (Moses) and the New (Jesus) Covenants.
Apply: Do you think the grace and truth in Christ is a 50/50 balance or 100/100? Why? What substitutes for grace have you observed? How have you seen truth distorted?
Pray: Father, I praise You for speaking Your clearest and most accessible message in Jesus. Thank You for making your Word powerful today through the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. May I hear and live Your truth.
Day 2 John 3:16-21
Reflect: How do you see Jesus include both grace and truth in these familiar words? How does love fit into this? What happens when the truth is not believed and lived out?
Apply: What are ways we can convey this message of grace and truth to unbelievers, especially regarding eternal life? “Cheap grace is grace without truth.” Describe how this plays out.
Pray: Lord, forgive me when I failed to show grace or used truth as a club rather than a bandage. Train me to use truth as a light to guide me, and grace as a hand to hold the weary. Help me be Your disciple, full of grace and truth.
Day 3 Ephesians 4:14-15
Reflect: What all is necessary for us to develop a perfect balance of grace and truth? How would works of service be different if they were underscored with love, grace and truth?
Apply: Paul warns the church about deceitful scheming that can derail them from growing more like Christ. What kinds of lies are we dealing with that distort both grace and truth?
Pray: Father, thank You for the diversity and unity as people who have been saved by grace through faith. Help us to speak the truth in love and to grow in every way to be like Jesus.
Day 4 Luke 18:18-27
Reflect: How did Jesus use truth to try to usher this man into His kingdom? Why did He respond to him in this manner? What was the man lacking? Where do you see grace implied?
Apply: Why do you think the people responded the way they did in verse 26? What do you think Jesus meant in His reply to them? Do you still struggle with the truth, saved by grace?
Pray: Jesus, Your words have a way of piercing the defenses I have built up against doing things Your way. Give me the grace to be able to obey You instead of living independent of You. Make me wholly Yours.
Day 5 Luke 18:9-14
Reflect: What truths do the people referred to in verse 9 need to hear? How does the tax collector reflect grace and truth? What role does humility play in living under grace and truth?
Apply: How do you see yourself in the Pharisee? In the tax collector? What truths do we need to accept before we can fully grasp grace? How does grace help us accept truth?
Pray: Father, forgive me for I am a sinner. Thank You for Your mercy and saving grace through Your incredible gift of Jesus.
Put It Into Practice!
Pray for God to show you who you need to reach out to with the grace you initially lacked and/or the truth you hesitated to share. Parents, sit down with your spouse and make a list of the ways you demonstrate grace and truth to your children. Try to balance the list and brainstorm new ways to practice these things in your family.