SHEER GRACE–THAT SOLO, MIGHTY THREAD

J. Grant Swank, Jr.

Finally, our world situation has pressed us all into the space that hangs by nothing other than God’s sheer grace thread.

Not that that space has been there all along. It has been. But we have simply not believed it practically. Instead, we have relied upon our salary checks, backyard pools, health reports, degrees, connections and all the rest of “stuff” earthly. Yet what fragile fools we have been.

Believers, however, in the deprived pockets of this world have come upon the grace thread more readily because their lives have had nothing else to rest upon. Nevertheless, sadly those of us parked on the affluent landmasses have concluded we had much to bank on other than His sheer grace thread.

However, with September 11 cemented in our minds as well as what is left of history’s annals, there can be no more bargaining with either foolishness or denial.

Our securities have been stripped from us. Our game playing has turned to mourning. Our pretences have been revealed as adolescent charades.

We–earth’s citizens–hang by a thread. It is called “grace.” And it is as firm as the will of Creator God.

Yes, before September 11, most of us hung by our own ropes. They were of our own making. We actually believed them to be not only real but powerful and lasting. Yet how could we, with biblical truth before us, have ever twisted our mortal brains into such conjured nirvana?

September 11.

What a power-date for earth and eternity.

Henceforth, it will become the undeniably crucial turning point for both believers and nonbelievers. All mortals will face daily bald reality. It is that we actually are existing “on the edge” from here on out.

(The real truth, of course, is that from conception we existentially have always been existing “on the edge”. We have simply masked that truth with our imaginative escapisms.)

In an attempt to cope, nonbelievers then gather in public libraries to recite poetry and recall masterfully crafted literary strokes from past politicians. They wade through the philosophers of Greece and Manhattan. And then they marvel at what these recitations do for them emotionally and cognitively.

But at the close of those verbal exchanges, both reciters and listeners are left as empty as when they walked through the evening’s front doors. Why? Because all they have done is to relieve a bit of angst. The exchanges have made no real change in breathing “on the edge.” The edge is still very much there–exchanges or not.

Yet unfortunately nonbelievers will continue to gather to hear their own sounds. After all, they know no other place to meet. And so they will invite the next generation, as long as the world lasts, to their sessions, believing in and so relying upon their own hubris.

All the while, believers grapple while stunned. They are not all that hilariously happy. Truthfully, most are slipping and sliding with the rest of humanity.

Why?

Because they have concocted much worldliness mixed into their Christian theologies. They have not been all that sold out simply and completely to that sheer grace thread.

Yet believers do have resources for gaining ground and real stability. It is, simply enough, by that grace thread from which they hang.

The more such believers come to Savior God in earnest and honest prayer, confessing their false notions, the more the indwelling Spirit will enlighten them. He will teach them what the Book already has pronounced but which they have nonchalantly, carelessly omitted from the “real life.”

Believers who truly mean what they believe, and hope to live out what they say, will come to realize the inner power of that amazing grace thread. It indeed will hold them up. It surely will enable them to swing with the times. It will bind them confidently with grace comfort in an otherwise comfortless, taunting world.

The utter Christian simplicity is this: Sheer grace redeemed believers’ souls. Sheer grace enriches their spirits with daily stabilizing nourishment. Sheer grace then will see them through the final door.

That sheer grace thread actually then is all that we have. Truly, it is all that we have ever had. Indeed it was sheer grace that brought our planetary existence into being at the very start.

Therefore, just as grace was planted in Eden, that same grace environs is now the only true lasting existence.  Christ made it all possible by His redemption plan existing “before the foundations of the world.”

Therefore, never again can we afford to fool our heads into concluding that the lasting existence is something material, tangible, that which we can count and lock away or gaze upon with carnal pride.

No.

The only lasting reality of our earthly sphere is His grace thread–solo and strong.

When each believer comes to this consciousness, then he can take in any earthly occurrence–any threat, any newscast, any calamity. That basic realization will have been dealt with and impregnated with daily hope–divine grace, sheer grace, amazing grace.

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