Human transformation comes when love casts out fear, assuring us we’ll never be disowned, abandoned, or destroyed. Only in the rich soil of unconditional love can we truly grow. Believing in God’s desire to save every person calms our fears of death and destruction. It assures us of God’s acceptance. Grace gives us the grace to live boldly.
Gracious Christianity is committed to the lifestyle of Jesus, confident that living his way of life can usher in the kingdom of God. It trusts that God still moves and acts in the world, not simply in Christians, but in anyone who commits to loving neighbor and enemy. Convinced of the ultimate salvation of all people, it can focus on living in the present rather than worrying about the future. Gracious Christianity doesn’t demand that people accept Jesus as Lord and Savior but invites people to consider his example and imitate his way.Contemporary Reading
If God Is Love: Rediscovering Grace In An Ungracious World
by Philip Gulley and James Mulholland
So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.Scripture Reading 1
1 John 4:16-21 (NRSV)
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’Scripture Reading 2
Matthew 25:31-40 (ESV)