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“It’s a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma…

You see, at the centre of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or opposite one.  Its clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe.  I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you reap, so will you sow” stuff.  Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.” (Bono, lead singer for the band U2, as quoted in, Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas, Riverhead Books)

For the last few decades, the church has been known for almost everything except grace. Judgmental, hypocritical, and religious are just a few adjectives that come to mind. Generations are running away from Christianity and even God because of the proclamations of his “followers.”

If the church is to be a place of hope for broken people, a spiritual family for broken families, and a place of acceptance for the rejected, grace must be at the epicenter of who we are. To be honest, sometimes this is counterintuitive for me. It defies my logic. My logic says that people should get what they deserve. Grace says just the opposite, that people get what they do not deserve—namely a second chance, a new life. Don’t let your logic stand in the way of modeling God’s grace to someone who just may need you to be Jesus to them.

John 1:14 tells us, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Remember,  Jesus never had to balance grace and truth, he was full of both of them!

Carl Nichols

A native of south Atlanta, Carl has a passion for God, Julie, and sports. He and Julie have two sons, Jase and Trey. They have a heart to see people understand how crazy God is about them! Carl is the Lead Pastor at Relevant.

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