rooted-in-graceIt is imperative upon those who share the gospel to share it because God is so good and His mercy endures forever. Otherwise, it is easy to slip into sharing the gospel because things are so bad and the problems we face go on forever.  We become those who have to do something not because we’ve been blessed and highly favored, but because of a ‘if we don’t, who will’ mentality.

Rooted in grace, the Holy Spirit will seek to remind us there is a distinction between what arises out of compassion and what we feel led to do because of concerns that are motivated by fear or failure. I wrestle with not speaking out of turn or wanting to speak up about things and so often in my desire to restore things and put things right it comes across in a spirit of meanness and not in the spirit of meekness the Apostle Paul says is appropriate in Galatians, chapter 6.

I think this is why a few verses later, Paul tells each person to ‘test’ or ‘refine’ their work so that we can rejoice in what we do and not regret that once again we’ve done something inappropriate.  The Apostle says, ‘Each person carries their own baggage’. (Galatians 6: 5) But, sometimes it is hard to recognize until we’ve emptied it out on somebody.

Rooted in grace, we are asked to always teach and share out of a deep well of good things and those who are taught in the word will remind teachers (including themselves) that this is the way it is in God’s way of doing things. God will not tolerate his people teaching with their noses stuck up in the air. Why? Because the only fruit we can produce comes from what we are rooted.

“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.” (Galatians 6: 7 – 8)

When the Apostle says, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart”, he is literally saying, “Let’s not continue to try to do good while still rooted in our sin, for in due season we shall reap if we don’t go slack about how we’re doing good.” (Galatians 6: 9)

Most English translations fail to share the high and holy standard to which God holds us when the next verse says, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6: 10) The word Paul uses for ‘good’ in this verse is a different word than the one used in previous verses.  This word, agathos, reminds us when we do good, it is always to be motivated by the mercy we have received from the Lord and rooted in his grace.

The Apostle Paul says it this way in Romans 12: 1 – 2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

That’s what it means to be rooted in grace.