Brennan Manning & A Reflection On Grace

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Last night I learned that Brennan Manning had died. I will forever be grateful to Mr. Manning for his writing. I believe I have read his full body of work, some books more than once, and few authors, if any, have helped me understand grace more clearly than Brennan.

He was an imperfect man who stumbled and limped through life. He wasn’t what many of us would envision when we think of the ‘victorious Christian’, yet that’s exactly what he was. He got up one more time than he stumbled, and this last time he got up to enter into the arms of his Abba. Brennan Manning knew that he was completely dependent on the grace of God, and the ‘relentless tenderness of Jesus’…Only when you and I realize that too, will we truly be victorious.

Very often as I read the writings of Mr. Manning I found myself cringing. I think grace often does that. One would think that as we reflect on the good news of Jesus Christ, and the grace with which he has lavished upon us, we would be quick to embrace it. Far too often though, that isn’t the case. Sometimes grace is just as hard to accept as it is to give. Most times we Christians talk a good game about grace, but in practice we leave much to be desired. This is just as true of ourselves as it is of others. We know God forgives…but does he really forgive like that? God is full of grace, but even when I’ve done this?

Yes…even then. This is truly the good news. The grace of God poured out through Jesus Christ is even more amazing than we could ever have imagined. Perhaps a cringe is often the proper response to a grace this amazing…it is meant to astound us. But don’t stop there. Meditate on this cringe-worthy grace…this Gospel that is utterly unbelievable…and fall on your knees before a God who loves and forgives in a way that is completely beyond our understanding…

Thank you Brennan Manning for helping me to see this a little more clearly…

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

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