Church Write-Up: Grace and Soul Keeping

The Sunday School class that I am attending is going through John Ortberg’s Soul Keeping. The session today was about grace. Ortberg seems to define grace as God and others filling our fuel-tank. By this definition, not only do we need grace, but Jesus (in his humanity) needed it, too, as he drew from God for sustenance. We try to achieve and to gain worth through our achievements. Jesus, however, knew that he was already accepted by his Father and that his Father and the Holy Spirit were present with him.

People talked about how they got to be present with troubled people by listening to them. Last week, the teacher mentioned the limits of that: should he feed his soul with someone’s troubles? In some cases, he may need to back away and let someone else minister to the person.

Someone else shared that there is not a whole lot of grace in this world, as people are harsh with one another, and therefore it is difficult for them to receive grace. They feel they have to earn whatever favor they get. At the same time, this person confessed that he recognizes his need for grace, but it has been difficult for him to extend grace.

Ortberg in the video talked about how his children were crediting his wife with an insight that Ortberg shared with them. This mattered to Ortberg because his wife was very verbal, and he feared that she would make a greater and more lasting impression on his kids than he does.

The teacher said that we should be thankful for people in our lives, especially for people who, for whatever reason, have put up with us for a long period of time. I identify with that.



About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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