March 22, 2014
“By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not our own doing, it is the gift of God – not because of works, lest any (person) should boast.”
Paul the Apostle
“The Sin Problem #5”
“The breeze of God’s grace is blowing continually. You have to set your sail to catch that breeze.”
Have I “set my sail” and caught God’s free gift of grace?
“Grace” – Divine love bestowed freely on human beings.
“Grace is the gift of Christ, who exposes the gulf which separates God and man, and by exposing it, bridges it.”
Growing up, I was a very inquisitive young person. As my studies turned to those areas where I was motivated to ask the tougher questions about the “whys” and “wherefores” of life – I began to find I was more and more perplexed by some of the deeper, theological areas we hear a lot about yet may not clearly understand.
Grace seemed to be one of those areas. I’d ask, “What is grace?” The usual Biblical answer was that it was “unmerited favor.” OK. That sounds good. But when it comes to everyday living, what did “unmerited favor” really mean?
Well, several months ago, my sister Sher called and said, “I’m sending you something. You’ll love it.” Boy, was she right. And I stuck this story in a folder called “Grace” knowing that someday, at just the right time I’d be pulling it out. This story comes from Pastor Charles Swindoll’s biography on the life of Job. The story was sent to him from a college student in Missouri and I love it because it is such a practical, everyday look at what grace is all about.
“I left work early so I could have some uninterrupted study time right before the final in my class. When I got to class, everybody was doing their last minute studying. The teacher came in and said he would review with us for just a little bit before the test. We went through the review, most of it right on the study guide, but there were some things he was reviewing that I had never heard of. When questioned about it, he said that they were in the book and we were responsible for everything in the book. We couldn’t really argue with that.
Finally, it was time to take the test.
“Leave them face down on the desk until everyone has one and I’ll tell you to start,” our prof instructed.
When we turned them over, every answer on the test was filled in! The bottom of the last page said the following:
“This is the end of the Final Exam. All the answers on your test are correct. You will receive an ‘A’ on the final exam. The reason you passed the test is because the creator of the test took it for you. All the work you did in preparation for this test did not help you get the ‘A’. You have just experienced…grace.”
Then he went around the room and asked each student individually, “What is your grade? Do you deserve the grade you are receiving? How much did all your studying for this exam help you achieve your final grade?”
Now I am not a crier by any stretch of the imagination, but I had to fight back tears when answering those questions and thinking about how the Creator had passed the test for me…
…The teacher said he had never done this kind of final before and probably would never do it again, but because of the content of many of our class discussions, he felt like we needed to experience grace.”
In 2 Samuel chapter 9, the Bible tells a story about when David came to power as King of Israel. Often times in history, we find current rulers despising, degrading and even killing off the children of previous rulers. But in David’s case, for the sake of his dear friend Jonathan, he asked if there were any left alive in Saul’s family? A man named Ziba, who was a servant in Saul’s household, happened to be present and heard the question. Ziba informed King David that yes there was a boy who was crippled named Mephibosheth. The young boy was brought to David. Just imagine! You see the king’s soldiers coming to get you. You can’t run the other way because you are crippled and they tell you you’re going to the palace. Poor Mephibosheth, he was scared to death! But David said, “Don’t be frightened. I’d like to do something special for you because of your father.” (2 Samuel 9: 7). Then David informed the young man that he was going to give him all of his family’s property and that in the future all of his meals would be eaten at David’s table – he was part of the King’s family!! Mephibosheth was one of the royal family!! Don’t you just love it. And Jesus has done the same thing for you and me. The Son has given us our Father’s inheritance all because the Father through Jesus adopted you and me as His sons and daughters. But that’s not all – we’re told to come to the King’s table for all our meals. “I will come in and eat with her.” (Revelations 3: 30). We haven’t done a thing to deserve this kind of treatment. It’s a gift because of who our Father is. It’s called “grace!” Don’t you love it. And don’t you want to thank our Father for His gift!
“God does not give grace
Because there is a
Need, but God gives
Grace because He is
A gracious God.”
Grace in a Barren Place
“I was that Mephibosheth
Crippled by my twisted pride and
Hiding from you in a barren place
Where You could not find me
Where You would not give me what I
But somehow You found me and
I don’t understand why but You
Give me what I do not deserve.
You not only spared my desolate life but
You made it bountiful
And here at Your table
I will thank You,
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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