It is with a heavy-heart that I read the news of Perry Noble’s departure from Newspring Church yesterday. After reading this, my wife looked up at me from the iPhone screen, and then said, “How do we make sure this doesn’t happen to us?” I stared down at the floor.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” I said back to her. “Other than grace, I don’t know.”
Friends, grace is a powerful thing. Grace is unmerited favor. It is a hug when we deserve the punishment. It is an ice-cream cone when we deserve the trash. It is a “free” status, when we deserve anything but. And a reminder of that grace every single day is what brings us back to our reliance upon it… every single day.
Everyone has walked through life with regrets. A relationship. An argument. A bad date. A bad decision. A terrible mistake. We have all been burdened with the feelings of regret, losing something, and not being good enough.
I know I have, and, honestly, I constantly do. I sin every single day. I judge people every single day. I am the most prideful person that I think I know. I don’t do the right thing… or say the right thing… pretty much every single day. And I could go on…
When I look in the mirror, I often look at someone staring back at me that, I feel, is not qualified for ministry, leadership, or church planting.
And then I am reminded of the truth that I am not. I am not qualified. In fact, I am unqualified. In my flesh I am not qualified. Without Christ, I am nothing. And every qualification that I potentially possess in my competencies or my character comes from nothing but deep, deep, deep grace.
The ability to do ministry is grace. The ability to be a dad is grace. The ability to breathe is grace. And the ability to work through sin for a season is grace.
We are all the same. We are all Perry Noble.
All is grace.