Outrageous grace: what it looks like up close

ted haggard, forgiveness, grace, Christians online

Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. - Luke 6:7

Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice. ~ Psalm 51:17, The Message

by Tami Heim
John Bishop, pastor of Living Hope Church in Vancouver, Washington, spoke at Ruth Graham’s gathering at The Cove, in Ashville, North Carolina last week. During a 2-day intensive on transparency that included diverse minds from around the country, John shared what it means to be a living example of transparency and what Ruth Graham calls outrageous grace.

You see, Living Hope Church was the first mega church to invite Ted and Gail Haggard to speak after their return to full-time ministry following a very public scandal. John transported us back to that day at his church and shared how God moved. It just so happened, Ted Haggard was sitting in the audience at the Cove while John spoke, which amplified the humanity of the moment. Here’s a video that recaps that outrageous grace-filled day at Living Hope Church. You really don’t want to miss this . . .

John has a new book coming out on March 29th called Dangerous Church: Risking Everything to Reach Everyone. (Now that’s a title @stickyJesus can whole-heartedly support.) The book’s audience is church leadership, but there’s truth in it for anyone following hard after the heart of Christ.

Here’s a sneak peek:

“The problem isn’t the brokenness of our lives—our sinful failures—but that we often aren’t broken enough by our sins and failures. Spiritual leaders understand that brokenness is a virtue and that God’s strength is manifested their weakness and dependence on Jesus. In fact, God desires our brokenness. . . . .Our brokenness is the very platform on which God does his best work. It’s not our strength that moves the church forward but his power, manifested through our dependence.” – Dangerous Church, introduction.

4 steps to getting real about grace

So do you think you are ready to get real about your own brokenness? Are there times  when you are quick to judge? Are you willing to put it all out there so the Holy Spirit can search and cleanse you? Anytime is a good time to allow God to bring you back to where you belong.

1. Find a quiet place

2. Read Psalm 51.

3. Invite God to do what He longs to do in you.

4. Ask Him to help you understand brokenness, repentance, and grace.

Post/Tweet this:
Humanity has fallen and all are desperate for God’s love. Will you be the first to show outrageous grace? #LiveSticky

What do you think causes someone to slip into judgment?

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  • Melinda Ysaguirre

    Wow. The video is powerful-demonstrates the walls of brokenness and shame that sin builds in our lives- then displays the healing power of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness pulling them down. May we all recommit ourselves to restoring outrageous grace to our homes, communities, and churches.

    Thank you for sharing with us. Bless you.

  • Tami Heim

    I’m so grateful you felt the significance what happened here. It was a holy moment. God’s mercy and grace were outrageously amplified through a pastor and a church. Those forgiven much – love much.

  • Anonymous

    I think the main thing that causes people to slip into judgement is that their communion with God is broken, which is a dangerous/flawed set of eyes to walk around with. I think a lot of times people in the church get puffed up on knowing the scriptures that they spend little time in meditation and true communion with God. There’s a lot of “showing” going on in the church and not a lot of “knowing.” That’s why people are scared to walk in the doors of a church—they fear (should I say they “expect”) judgement.

    For this perception to turn around on a whole will take a radical cleansing by the Holy Spirit upon the Church. Talking about it is the first step, prayer and fasting is the second.

    I also think the most precious Christians fall into the trap of judgement. You see it over and over again in the bible. Those who love God’s word and spend their lives learning about Him never “expect” to become Pharasees. But it happens.

  • http://twitter.com/dedraherod dedraherod

    Praying that the entire Church would risk such grace, mercy and forgiveness! Thank you for sharing.. He’s so grand to us.. we owe that same grandness to one another… much love.

  • Anonymous

    Grand is the perfect word Dedra. Can you imagine being “grand” to those around us? Grand grace — expansive, inclusive, all-consuming. Thanks for that word today!

  • Ps John Bishop

    Loved the time together at the Cove. Tami, thanks for your encouragement. God is so good and his wreckless grace is what we want more than any thing else in our lives. Interestingly, we want from God what we don’t give to those around us (not wrecklessly at least). Dangerous grace will change the world, but you are right, first it has to change us. Great to meet you and spend time talking. It is official. My next book will be Dangerous Grace. Ted’s story (with their permission will be part of the story). Talk to you soon.

  • Tami Heim

    Please know our prayers will be wrapped around you. Dangerous Grace is a message that needs to be told and hearts need to hear. Thanks for the way you and your church live it out for all to see. It’s an honor to be an echo chamber for this story and His work through your ministry. Bless you friend.

  • Tami Heim

    Amen and Amen.

  • Foreverandevernomatterwhat

    this really touched me.I strugle so much in believing Gods Grace for me and putting down the shame. I Love what Gail has to Share about that. Its all amazing!! ONLY GOD !!! Puts a family back togather and ready to to allow thier truth to build up others. Thank you I’m not much with words,but this story has really been a blessing to me. Gail I will be Prayingfor God to continue to use you in greatways..Thanks for your truth,all of you, I I’m gonna work on my brokeness so I can have true healing. LOve&Prayers Wanda.

  • gypsyrose

    I also believe that hurt people hurt others. I think that the reason why people feel pride in knowing the scriptures is a type of protective personality. It helps them feel better than others and pushes people away all in the same action. Judgement is what we learn as children. It is really hard for people to look outside of themselves to see what they are doing to others. I feel that if people are to learn about Grace, they need God to help them to learn how to give grace to themselves and forgive what has been done to them. Healing is where it starts…
    Healing has helped me see what my actions do to others. In this I have gotten closer to God and my faith has grown 100%. Only God knows what I need to heal.

  • http://profiles.google.com/doricook Dori Cook

    Catching up on blog reading today and this so ministered to me. I’m astounded by His grace in my life, but fail fail fail Him all the time. It’s usually in those times of my drifting away from spending time on my face before Him, seeking His Will, confessing my sins, etc., that I fall into times of judging others.

    Judging others somehow makes us feel as though the spotlight searing our own wayward hearts is diverted somewhere else. The relief we think we will feel only becomes an even heavier burden, a deeper burn.

    Help me, Lord, know that Your yoke — staying right next to You, keeping in step with Your Spirit, laying bear a heart that needs daily cleansing through confession and repentance — is truly easy and Your burden is truly lighter than trying to carry that thing on our own! Oh how You love us!!!


  • Anonymous

    That’s honest and real gypsyrose. Thank you for posting. You are right people are just scared hurt kids that want to barricade themselves into a safe place so they don’t get hurt. Knowledge and facts is a safe, sterile, thick way of putting distance between ourselves and others. What’s great to see is when God’s grace and love begins to chisel those walls. Sounds like your healing has been amazing! Keep growing, my friend! I’m right there with you . . . always growing.

  • Anonymous

    Wow Dori. I’m so right there with you. It’s in the drifting times . . . that the judging creeps in. It’s never intentional but it sure does make its ugly self known when it arrives. Praying for that daily cleansing with you and knowing that your humble prayer is meant for us all. So good to be loved by a God so kind! Bless you sweet warrior!

  • Anonymous

    Wanda, you are awesome with words – very clear and such a blessing to us! It’s in fellowship with other believers that God begins to ping off of hearts and do His work. Your post ministered to me. You never know when God is going to get your attention and require you to go deeper — and really “work” on our brokenness. So inspiring. Thanks, Wanda!

  • gypsyrose

    Thank you :) Yes, my healing has been amazing and I am so excited to grow and have another 100% growth in my faith! I have such a long way to go, but the road is awesome. I love being on fire for God/Jesus!! I thank God and all the pastors at Living Hope and Living Free. I love you all!

  • gypsyrose

    I also forgot to add thanks for the support staff and facilitators of the classes!