Monday, March 16, 2009

Are You A Chicken or an Eagle?

A farmer was walking through the forest one day when he found a young eagle that was hurt. The farmer saved the eagle from the dangers of the forest. He took it home and made it a nice safe place on his porch. It made such a mess that he put it in his chicken lot. The eagle soon learned to eat and behave like the chickens that he lived with every day. One day a Forest Ranger passed by the farm and asked why it was that the king of all birds is living in the barnyard with the chickens. The farmer explained what had happened. It was no longer a great eagle of the wild outdoors but a tame chicken.

"It must have the heart of an eagle," replied the Ranger. He lifted the eagle toward the sky and encouraged it to fly. The eagle was confused. He did not know who he was, and seeing his chicken friends he jumped down to be with them again.

Grace is a word that means Gods love, compassion and favor that is given to us freely. It cost us nothing. Because God gives his compassion, love and favor freely we should freely return it to him and others. Grace can be seen in Jesus’ death on the cross. Grace can be seen in the godly way we treat each other. Grace can be seen in the purity of God.

A German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, coined a phrase “cheap grace.”

I think cheap grace is when we are changed into eagles but still hang out in the chicken lot.

Cheap grace is that kind of relationship with Jesus that finds us able to accept the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross with an easy joy. Cheap grace finds us able to fit Jesus into our lives without having to change anything in our life. Cheap grace finds us satisfied with a Jesus that takes away any real responsibility for changing our lives. Cheap grace finds itself reduced to words and ideas and hardly ever finds itself translated into a tangible form that someone can feel and benefit from. Cheap grace covers over our sins instead of cleansing us of our sins. Cheap grace allows us to continue doing our sin and not be pricked in our soul because of it. Cheap grace allows us to see our sin as OK because we re-interpret the principles of the Holy Scripture.

Cheap grace is not to see what God intended for when he created us, nor is it the purity of life that we are suppose to be leading.

Jesus sees everything through the lens of God's plan. Jesus always pointed us back to Gods original plan for us and away from where we are.

The Ranger took the eagle to a high mountain and walked out on a towering ledge. There he held the king of the birds high above him and encouraged him to fly. The eagle looked back towards the chicken lot and then up to the sky. Then all of a sudden a giant eagle soared from behind a mountain peak on a mighty wind and was passing just above the Ranger and the chicken lot eagle. As the giant eagle passed, the eagle slowly stretched his wings. The Earth bound eagle realized his strength and was inspired by the giant eagle that was soaring on the wind effortlessly. His heart started beating fast and pumped the eagle blood to the tips of his wings. Inspired within his soul the chicken lot eagle stretched and with a triumphant cry leaped into the air, caught the thermal rising and soared away finally whole.

What are you a chicken or an eagle? Do you want cheap grace or true grace? Do you want to scratch around in the chicken lot or soar on eagles wings?

Grace is free but it isn’t cheap. Our grace is because Jesus died on the cross for us. His death took the stench and scratching around in the dirt of the chicken lot and made us soar in the high heaven where it is cool, clean and the air is fresh.

Are you a chicken or an eagle?

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