All of our lives we have been told that we must earn anything we receive. As children, we were told that we must earn the right to go play at recess. As teenagers, we were told to earn our place on the football team. In college, our professors told us that we did not receive a grade; rather, we earned a grade. And when we really “grew up,” we did not get a job promotion—you guessed it—we earned a job promotion.
The culture we live in has this mentality of saying “just pull yourself up by the bootstraps and you will be fine.” We have been nurtured in a works-based environment.
Please do not misunderstand me: I think it is good to work hard.
The Bible has sharp language for those who are lazy and slothful (Proverbs 13:4; 18:9). But we have been failing to emphasize grace. That is why it is so hard for us to even imagine.
And that is why Biblical Christianity is different than this work-based society. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” For Christians, grace is a code word that represents undeserved love or favor that is dispensed to people based upon God's sovereign will.
It’s a beautiful reality!
At Roosevelt, this is a value for us because we want to be motivated by grace because God gave us grace (1 John 4:19). We should dispense grace to others because God dispenses grace to us.
This plays out in Downtown Phoenix with us being grace-motivated to our homeless community who needs the grace of God in their lives, and in how we might generously give to other churches, non-profits, para-church ministries, etc. We also want to be motivated by grace by sharing the gospel with others.
The main way we experience God is through His unmerited love. So we must share this with others in our city to the glory of God. It is my prayer for Roosevelt Community Church to be grace-motivated!