I have found that grace is distorted in the subtlest of ways… First, it happens when you begin basing the existence of your relationship with Jesus on a list of things you’ve either done or are presently doing for God.
The answer to the question “Do you know Jesus?” goes something like… “Yes! I prayed the prayer… I was baptized… I read my Bible… I pray before bed… I’m a member of a church… I tithe… I teach Sunday School…”
Additionally, grace becomes distorted when you begin basing the health of your walk with Jesus on what you aren’t doing. The answer to the question “How’s your walk with Jesus?” goes something like… “Great! I’ve stopped drinking or I’ve quit smoke… I’ve stopped hanging around my party friends… stopped cussing… I’ve stopped sleeping with my boyfriend or girlfriend… I recently gave up secular music, R-rated movies, and HBO…”
While none of these things are bad, both of these perspectives are silly because a relationship with the person of Jesus fundamentally has zero to do with the things you are or aren’t doing for Him! No relationship operates this way…
Understand… Grace presents the exact opposite relational dynamic! Your vertical life impacts the horizontal and not the other way around. The truth is that it’s only by growing closer to Jesus that you’re life is going to change!
Always remember… The Christian experience and your behavioral transformation have absolutely nothing to do with what you do or don’t do… Instead, it’s completely based on Who you know! Friend, it is only God’s grace that changes everything.