Grace: A Sabbath Worship Experience

(Spectrumbot) #1

What do we mean when we say “the way of the world?”  I suspect that each of us, if we were to examine what we mean by this word, would come up with a different kind of definition.  My anecdotal observation is that both I and my fellow Christians seem to have one thing in common when it comes to how we interpret this word, namely that the idea of “the world” seems shrouded in some sense of other.  In simpler terms, I’ve found that if a person does not believe one should listen to rock music then it is from the world that such music comes.  If a person believes that when one visits a theater they compromise themselves, they seem to equate the theater with the world.

I punched the play button on my mp3 player and jumped into the shower, letting both the warm water, and the words of a philosophy treatise wash over me.  Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness was the day’s read, and I found it to be at once cold and rational.  The message of the treatise was essentially that a person does not owe their fellow humans anything.  There was room for caring and love, but only as far as it went to directly benefit the person doing the loving.  I thought of all the things I had done that would make me unforgivable by those around me.  I thought of all of the quirks and mess-ups that pervade my life.  There, amidst the rising steam; I realized how much God’s grace pervades humanity and makes it work, and how so many relationships work because people are not cut loose when they prove to be a liability.  When I compared Jesus’ story of the vineyard workers who came to work at different parts of the day, and Jesus’ story of the king who was willing to forgive his servants’ debts, and the story of the king who invites everyone to the wedding and then gives them His clothes, I found myself in awe at the chasm between His ideas and Rand’s.  From then on, when I thought about that word “worldly,” it became synonymous with unforgiving.  In Rand’s world, there is no room for the unfaithful spouse, there is no room for a confidant who betrays a friend, and there is no room for a teacher who, in a fit of frustration, belittles his or her student.  There is no story of redemption.  Grace says to the one who falls, “You have worth in who you are now, and your worth is not dependent on your future actions.”

The opening prayer today is by Billy Collins, and, though very humorous, I feel it speaks to an attitude I find all to present in my own life.  I often find myself laboring for God with the woeful delusion that my labors make me worth God's time, but that I am not inherantly worth God's time.  Often this attitude is brash and boastful.  The God I hope for looks on me with the eyes of a patient mother, and accepts me regardless of this attitude, and that is perhaps the greatest grace of all.


Introit: Andy McKee - Rylynn

Opening Hymn: David Wesley - Amazing Grace Medley

Call to Prayer: Alison Krauss - Down in The River to Pray

Opening Prayer: Billy Collins - The Lanyard

Spoken Word: Father Ubald Rugirangoga - Forgiveness and Reconciliation in the Extreme

Steve Moor is a middle grade teacher, a youth mentor and a worship leader in Portland Oregon.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Kim Green) #2


(Yoyo7th) #3

I remember an SDA pastor starting a sermon by asking his audience of 200+…"What is grace?’ I think there were a couple of replies. Evidently they were not the correct answers.

What is grace?

From my experience, the trite answer …“unmerited favor” does not work anymore.

(k_Lutz) #4

Without you even asking for it, I ignored all the nature and nurture that got you where you are today, all the beliefs and justifications are disregarded, and you are a celebrated child of God, the paragon of His creativity. Now act like it.

Trust the Process.

(jeremy) #5

perhaps “unmerited intervention” is more accurate…i don’t believe anyone will be saved who doesn’t take initiative and strive against what he was born with…

(Thomas J Zwemer) #6

we are in debtors prison and Christ paid in full the debt. we are set free. that is the Glory of the empty tomb. The Gospel (good News) we by faith in Christ’s cry-- It isfinisfed–(fulfilled) are justied or acquitted. The just shall live by faith in are freeto be generous, freely we have received, freely give. Generousity is the fruit of the spirit set free…Tom Z

(Rohan Charlton) #7

Enjoyed the music clips sooooo much! Especiallythe Alison Thanks! Great article too.

Btw Alison K. and Robert Plant collab. album of the decade IMO. A rare deserved Grammy win.

(Caddy) #8

I enjoyed her also, Rohan. Here’s another that you may enjoy:


Now! When are you, Mr Rohan Charlton going to share with us some of your guitar playing. I’m sure you can play something we’ll all enjoy :sunny:

(Rohan Charlton) #10

Um…Probably not. Trust me.

(Yoyo7th) #11

I like it better too Jer.

The gospel is God’s rescue from sin, character restoration, and relationship reconciliation program for humans who suffer desperation caused by guilt, depravity and fear of their inevitable death. His pardoning and powerful rehabilitating grace redeems the diligent participant from condemnation of sin and decriminalizes them so they are fit to be resurrected from death, pass God’s parole hearing, and to enter into eternal life with sinless beings.

(jeremy) #12

i really agree with this phrase…so often, the species of grace we hear over and over again is that god loves us no matter what - whether we cooperate with him or decide to do our own thing are alike irrelevant…i think it needs to be stressed more that there is a role for us to play in our own salvation…it may be true that our part is very small compared to god’s part, but it is vital all the same…without us doing our part, god’s grace can’t save us…otherwise, the whole world would be saved, which we know isn’t going to happen…i read this text not long ago:

“The salvation of the soul requires the blending of human and divine strength. God does not propose to do the work that man can do to meet the standard of righteousness. Man has a part to act. Humanity must unite and cooperate with divinity. Grace and sufficiency have been abundantly provided for every soul. But in order to receive this, man must unite with his divine Helper. Unless of his own accord man consents to renounce his sinful practices, Christ cannot take away his sin. Man must heartily cooperate with God, willingly obeying his laws, showing that he appreciates the great gift of grace.” Manuscript Releases 6:16.

this is one more confirmation of the reality that justification occurs only in the case of those who are being sanctified…

(Bille) #13

Or in other words, its really the cart that pushes the horse…

What illusions of grandeur the “cart” can have!

(Bille) #14

Thank you again Tom… for your cogent way of putting salvation processes in their correct order!

(jeremy) #15

we are co-workers together with god for our own, as well as others’, salvation…we are hardly a passive, calvinistic cart…

(Thomas J Zwemer) #16

thank you Bille. far too many find denominational defined Christianity as a walk around cloister rather than the opportunity to be truly human as God intended, free, open, cheerful, kind, and generously helpful. I how am confined to either a power chair or for short distances a walker. I now get the opportunity to say thank you many many times a day. But get on the freeway and all bets are off. It seems horse power has a satanic component. Now it seems that evangelism is high speed turn pike driving. (I’m behind the wheel, get behind and follow me!, or go to hell!). Tom Z

(George Tichy) #17

This wounds “sacrilegic” to me. It’s taking something that belongs exclusively (not primarily) to God and attributing it to a human being.

Well, anyway, I wish you good results (and certainly good luck) in your part of your efforts to actualize your own salvation.

(jeremy) #18

this isn’t what i said…i’m not working out my salvation by myself…god isn’t working out my salvation by himself…we’re a team - we’re in it together…i do my part, he does his…

“work out your own salvation with fear and trembling…why the fear and trembling…is it because there’s the overwhelming possibility you’ll be lost despite your best efforts…no…it’s because of the person who’s your co-worker…for it really and truly is god - the infinite power which called the world into existence in six literal, 24-hr days - which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure”, philippians 2:12-13 (jvv, the jeremy vandieman version)…

(George Tichy) #19

I have to look into it with a magnifier. The JVV is always suspicious… :slight_smile:

(jeremy) #20

lol…one idea i’m seriously considering after i finish memorizing the bible is to translate it into adventist lingo…i just think a lot of people are missing what it’s saying…they’re interpreting the bible in terms of their own ideas instead of the other way round…