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Instant Gratification

Being a kid is all about learning to bide time, proving just how unnatural it is to delay gratification. —Kelly Corrigan, Glitter and Glue 

Many years ago, I was a pastor who hadn’t gotten to grace yet. I’m not the only one—many believers, pastors included, haven’t experienced God’s grace. And yet, in His grace, God continues to pursue us. 

Pain trains: and during a painful season, after years of my wife Libby pointing me towards grace, I finally opened my eyes to it. Everything changed: I saw Jesus differently, taught differently, and interacted with my church family differently as we walked together on this pilgrimage of faith.

I found grace, and so I teach grace. Why? Because I’m seeing to it that no one misses it—not one single person. One could even say the purpose of every believer is to see to it that no one misses the grace of God … (Hebrews 12:15).

To do that, we must first understand why someone might turn down grace. Hebrews tells us the desire for instant gratification is an enemy of grace, and Esau is used as an example.

See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau … (Hebrews 12:16)

Now, nothing in Scripture implies that Esau was sexually immoral, but Jewish and extra-biblical writings considered him to be sexually suspect. That said, the main point is that Esau was considered godless, or outside of God’s family. For a single meal, he sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Why? His stomach was rumbling.

Hunger, for many things, permeates the human condition. Some desire success, financial security, or sexual gratification. But in all these desires, a trade is made: An inheritance is exchanged for gratification now.

And so, just like Esau, we trade what’s been promised for what’s right in front of us.

Grace is a long game, and we like things… now! Hebrews says: Don’t miss it! Don’t trade it. Grace is the main thing!

Jesus, what am I afraid to lose? What do I tightly cling to other than You? If I’ve chosen You already, then give me the courage to place You and grace first. If I’m still on the edge looking in, give me the boldness to jump into grace headfirst! Amen.

Dive deeper into Hebrews with Pete’s video series Better: A New and Living Way!
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