Grace is a verb – so act that way.

It is amazing how God will readjust your perceptions about a topic when you least expect it.  This past week has been one of those times for me and He has shown me a number of things about grace that I’m still trying to put into words for you.  Fortunately, this post is able to convey a very simple thought with vast implications for our future understanding.

I was reading recently a newsletter I receive from Michael Michalko who is known worldwide as an expert in creative thinking.  Michael made the following comment:

Few of us understand that creativity is not a noun. It is a verb. Verbs are thinking, creating, sculpting, painting, making, dancing, singing, acting, searching, seizing, preparing, growing, reaping, seeing, knowing. Now when you take a verb that is alive and vibrant and turn it into a dead noun or principle that reeks of rules: something living dies.

This statement jarred me!  The Holy Spirit then said to me, “Grace is a verb.”

Noun or Verb Tense

In school each of us is taught the proper designation for word as they appear in their many representations.  Nouns we were told are a person, place or thing, while verbs are action words.  We also are instructed in the use of modifiers like pronouns and adverbs which further describe the noun or verb it is associated with.  Much of the church has modified their salvation from a verb to a noun and then tries to live from the “place” rather than from the “movement” of grace.

Across the globe there are museums that house creative works by artists gifted with talents from a generous Father.  These works are monuments to a movement of creativity, nouns from a verb.  Israel in the wilderness often had to confront this very process.  They followed God’s movement until it stopped.  They would build the temple (noun) where it stopped and worship God in that place until they saw Him move (verb) again.  When David desired to build a house for God he modified the verb of God’s presence towards a noun of God’s habitation – he halted the kingdom of grace to a place rather than a lifestyle.  God still expects us to live “by grace” not “in grace.”

How many of you are waiting for the next “move” of God or seeking for a past monument to a movement?  Notice in that one question the verb/noun confusion that many have adopted.  “To wait” is not a verb but a noun – you are a statue watching life pass you by until God decides to move!  God is always moving which mean grace is always moving too.  “To seek” is what a verb represents – action.  You move, overturn things, look around, constantly in motion trying to perceive movement.  But seeking for something that looks like a past movement of God is not perceiving, it is recognizing.  (I realize that you teachers out there will have much concern about what I just claimed about “waiting” not being a verb, but in my mind statues don’t move.  So just go along with the metaphor.)

John tells us that we do not know what Jesus will look like when he returns but that we will be like him.  We will not recognize him.  John also tells us that the angels circle the throne of grace saying “Holy, Holy, Holy,” as new revelation of God unfolds before them.  If the angels can’t stop to “recognize” God why do we believe that we can?

As a wrap up, let me ask you these question: Are you saved by grace?  If so, is grace a noun or verb to you?  Do you know if your salvation is a noun or a verb? How would you shift from a noun to a verb?

Grace and Peace to You

Mike

 

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