I am reading this book right now, "Love Beyond Reason" by one of my all-time favorite authors, John Ortberg. If you haven't read any of his books, you MUST. I had to read one for a class at Liberty and I have been utterly hooked on him ever sense. He is such a funny, simple, straight-up author and I love every book of his I have read.
There is a chapter on love and grace that is just really good - I could actually probably put most of the book on here... but then you may as well read it yourself, right!? Here are some parts of this chapter that I really love and agree with. I hope these statements make you think.
Living in grace, remembering grace, keeps love alive. But losing touch with grace, forgetting that I am loved because God is a gracious God, is a love-killer.
Sheldon Van Auken wrote, "The best argument for Christianity is Christians; their joy, their certainty, their completeness." Guess what he said is the best argument against it? "When Christians are sombre, joyless, self-righteous, smug, narrow, repressive - Christianity dies a thousand deaths."
"One of the most important things that I as a Christian must do is to remember not only that was I saved by grace, but that I am loved this day by grace. God did not save me by grace only to decide that now he will base how he feels about me on my spiritual performance yesterday. God's love is always a gracious love."
"What is the one thing the church has to offer that the world cannot get anywhere else? After all, you don't have to be a Christian to build homes for the homeless, feed the poor, or donate to charity. You don't have to be a Christian to try to effect political change or pass social legislation. So what's the one things that the church has to offer that the world cannot get anywhere else? Grace."
"So if grace is the one thing the church has to offer, if there is no wonder like the wonder of grace, why do we leave it so easily? Why is it that churches filled with people who say they have been saved by grace can become such ungracious people? Why is it if you ask someone outside the church what they associate with the word "Christian" they might mention a conservative political agenda or judgmentalism or self-righteousness but not grace-filled love? .... I think it has at least partly to do with pride... When we're desperate, when we know the extent of our need, we are open to grace... Once people are inside the club, they'd like to see the entrance requirements go up, or what's the point?"