I am only half way through chapter four and I’m already a huge Ragamuffin Fan!! The premise of The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning is summed up in my new favorite quote by the author:
“God loves us just as we are, not as we should be.”
Read that three times. Read that a million times. God loves us just as we are.
Addicted… he loves us.
Scandalous… he loves us.
Imperfect… he loves us.
Unforgiving… he loves us.
“But of course, this is almost too incredible for us to accept. Nevertheless, the central affirmation of the Reformation stands; through no merit of ours, buy by his mercy, we have been restored to a right relationship with God through the life, death, and resurrection of is beloved Son. This is the Good News, the gospel of grace.” (page 20)
Michael W. Smith summed it up perfectly in his forward, “Not that I can sin more so grace might abound (see Romans 6:15), but grace abounded more because I could find it in the darkness as much as in the light.” (page 8)
Doesn’t matter how dirty we get… His grace is sufficient.
“The gospel declares that no matter how dutiful or prayerful we are, we can’t save ourselves. What Jesus did was sufficient.”
“When we accept ownership of our powerlessness and helplessness, when we acknowledge that we are paupers at the door of God’s mercy, then God can make something beautiful out of us.” (page 79)
We can rest peaceful in this…
“When we accept ourselves for what we are… we are no longer preoccupied with being powerful or popular. We no longer fear criticism because we accept the reality of our human limitations. Once integrated, we are less often plagued with the desire to please others because simply being true to ourselves brings lasting peace.” (page 49)
And I will leave you these last two quotes. Now this is truly something to SMILE about:
”If Jesus appeared at your dining room table tonight with knowledge of everything you are and are not, total comprehension of your life story and every skeleton hidden in your closet; if He laid out the real state of your present discipleship with the hidden agenda, the mixed motives and dark desires buried in your psyche, you would feel His acceptance and forgiveness. (page 63)
“Grace means that God is on our side and thus we are victors regardless of how well we have played the game.” (page 78)
Better run now… I have six more chapters to go!
P.S. Shortly after reading the foreword by Michael W. Smith I searched for some of his old videos on YouTube. This one has my heart. The kiddos have been asking for it every night as their “bedtime” song. I think we’ve watched it a hundred times and it never gets old.