A friend gifted Good to Grace: Letting Go of the Goodness Gospel to me. I wondered if she could have imagined me sitting on a lounge chair by the pool on vacation weeping over it. But that is exactly how it affected me. Every page was like looking in a mirror. The author was articulating, in perfectly worded phrases, the spiritual journey of my last 5 years.
As I read this book, organized into bite-sized segments of scripture saturated truth, I was taken on a flashback of how I used to live. I was fearful, rigid, exhausted from striving to be good, and discouraged that I never achieved enough to impress anyone, especially God.
Part Two is all about RECEIVING. (Catch our thoughts on Part One here.) It builds on the concept of grace introduced earlier. But this section takes us from intellectual ascent to living out our love relationship with God in the reality of daily life. She breaks it down step by step and nails you to the wall with what it really takes to live the Christian life. YOU have to DO nothing. That’s right! NOTHING, except RECEIVE the grace to actually live the life you were predestined to live. Being conformed to the image of Christ is received, not produced.
Although this book reads like a great coffee and cookies conversation with a trusted friend, it offers the power and authority of sound theology backed up by a well applied, faithful hermeneutic. If you are a grace bought believer, but are still fighting to live life in the power of “good girl” motivation and a “try harder” work ethic, you are probably as miserable, fearful, and stressed as I was. Everyone needs to read this book as a heart check, and as a faith builder.
Here are highlights of part two of From Good To Grace:
- Receiving His Love– Christine likens a love relationship with Christ to being His guest at a party. We are not to show up with anything in our hands. (Works.) We are not to refill our own drinks and resist being served. (Pride.) We are not meant to cower in the corner like we don’t belong. (Insecurity.) We are to lavish in the unconditional love and generous provision of a “celebratory God.”
- Receiving His Help– Once we grasp the unstoppable vastness of God’s love and His commitment to our sanctification, we learn to stop striving and adding to our self-made pile of business bent on earning something we already possess in full. Christine points out that spiritual disciplines are not a measurement for how mature you are. They are a tool for receiving power to live an impossible life. This chapter contains the best teaching I’ve ever read on the power and ministry of the Holy Spirit.
- Receiving His Freedom– Have you ever just wanted to go home? Have you ever felt that you could not trudge one more step on the “good enough” treadmill? This Chapter will set you free, bring you home, and light your fire again. She deals with self-oriented living, the need for control, and fear of man. She deals with the “good girl’s” Achilles heel of comparison and competition. This is like cool water on a parched tongue. Learning to rest in grace while still having a powerful impact is something every ministry wife needs to learn, and fast. Living in the freedom of grace for yourself and for others is the cure for burnout, bitterness, bareness, and disappointment.
I love how Christine Hoover taught these truths. I related to every illustration and ministry situation she shared. I know you will too. Don’t just read it. Apply it. It will set you FREE. You will begin to see the safety, power, and freedom you need to bear fruit that lasts and glorifies God and attracts others to the gospel of grace.
What are you learning from the book? Anything from section two you highlighted?
Published July 17, 2015