"Do not be anxious about anything but in everything through prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Grace Stoops

One of my favorite Christian authors is Max Lucado. I am reading his most recent book GRACE.   Such a short word. Seemingly easy word yet filled with more than our human minds or lips can conceive or speak.

The title of his second chapter is "The God Who Stoops". My connotation of "stoop" is often negative. We often hear it in the context of expressions like "Don't stoop to his level". The literal definition of stoop is "bend one's head or body forward and downward".

Most are familiar with the writing of John 8 where Jesus had been teaching at the Festival of Tabernacles and there was unbelief and division over who Jesus was. Early the next morning Jesus was again at the temple teaching and the adulterous woman was brought to him. GRACE begins!

My NIV translation says "Jesus bent down . . ." Whether it was bending or stooping, it was grace! Lucado gives example upon example of Jesus "stooping" - 'low enough to sleep in a manger, work in a carpenter shop, washing feet, embracing children, pulling Peter out of the sea.'

None of us really know why he stooped. But the important point is that He did! The King of Kings, Lord of Lords stooped. His unconditional love "stooped". His unmerited grace stooped - to reach this woman to assure her - that she was good enough. To assure her that she was important. He stooped to affirm her not to condemn her.

Grace, Grace, Wonderful Grace!

What an example Jesus set - so His spirit is saying to me that if He did this and I am His child then I am to do this - extend grace - bending my head forward and downward to love those who are difficult to love, to love those who need to experience grace.

Grace Stoops Unconditionally!

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