from the book He Loves Me by Wayne Jacobsen . . .
Won’t the awareness that God loves us no matter what lead to spiritual laziness and moral laxity? Theoretically, this seems a reasonable fear, but in reality the opposite is true…The more rooted we are in the love of God, the more generously we will live our faith.
This is where an appeasement view of the cross serves us so poorly. By viewing the cross as the offer of a "Get-Out-Of-Hell-Free Card" rather than an invitation of friendship with a gracious Father, we empty it of its power.
There are two ways to hide from God’s love—rebellion and religion. Rebellion, illustrated in the prodigal son, defies God’s love and seeks to cover up guilt and shame through the indulgence of sensual desires. Religion, on the other hand, is far more subtle. It seeks its cover-up with good works and obligation. However, like the prodigal’s older brother, it still denies the Father’s place in our lives and leads us no closer to knowing him for who he really is.
God knows that as we grow in friendship with him and discover how to trust the fact that he loves us completely, the root of sin will be destroyed. Grace doesn’t diminish God’s desire for our holiness but clarifies the process. Righteousness doesn’t produce relationship. Relationship produces righteousness.
I had totally misunderstood the Christian faith. I came to see that it was in my brokenness, in my powerlessness, in my weakness that Jesus was made strong. It was in the acceptance of my lack of faith that God could give me faith.