Daily Word of Grace # 51 (May 26, 2020)
In his final book entitled All is Grace the late Christian preacher and writer Brennan Manning got right to the point: “My message, unchanged for more than fifty years, is this: God loves you unconditionally, as you are and not as you should be, because nobody is as they should be. It is the message of grace” (192). The first time I heard Brennan Manning preach I was a nineteen year old college student at an outdoor summer Christian music and preaching festival in rural Pennsylvania. I was riveted as the actual gospel of God’s actual unconditional love for all of us as we actually are pierced my hard and guarded heart and brought me to tears. The loving presence of the Holy Spirit was palpable. A gospel centered on anything other than the grace of God is not the gospel. It may be well intentioned, it may have practical wisdom for your life, it may sound witty or clever, it may even sound theologically deep and ecclesiastically elegant—but it is not the gospel. In scripture the Apostle Paul also got right to the point: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Even now, God’s grace—God’s unconditional love for you as you are and not as you should be—remains the heart of the comforting, relieving, and actual gospel.
Love and Prayers,