Special Note: If you don't always read all the way through this post be sure to do so today. Josh Schans and Peter Bolt need our prayers!
My parents taught me the meaning of grace. They loved me unconditionally. They also taught me the meaning of justice. I could not fully understand the power of grace if I did not first comprehend justice.
When I lied or used bad language I would get soap in my mouth. When I was disrespectful or disobedient I was punished, the most memorable were spankings. As I grew older and my parents let go I realized they had been helping me understand justice from their hand to spare me real pain later in life. The consequences of life are much harsher than a loving parent's discipline. If you don't do your job or you don't show up, you lose your job. If you lie to a friend, you lose multiple friends. On and on the consequences of sinful behavior bring all kinds of pain into our lives and the lives of those closest to us. Understanding that pain is part of what makes grace so amazing. The day I wrecked the family van, due to irresponsible behavior on my part, became a lesson in grace. I was braced for the lecture and the discipline I deserved. The consequences for my behavior were escalating beyond what I could conceive at 16 years old. My dad's first words to me over the phone were, "Son, if you're okay that's all that matters." I received nothing I deserved and everything I didn't deserve. Mom and dad didn't even garnish my wages to help cover the cost of a new vehicle. Grace!
The basics I learned from my parents went to the next level as I learned more about God's Word. As creatures with limited awareness and a small capacity for comprehension we can't really get our minds around what we deserve. If we study human behavior and we have even a small measure of self-awareness we know our situation is not good. We are fatally flawed and the harder we try to cover our sins the more they keep showing. But He loves us. God will not give up on us. He is long-suffering in His love toward us. So much so that He paid the price for sin that we owe. He will not garnish the wages of our sin from us a little at a time over eternity, though that is what we deserve. He not only forgives our sin He makes us holy by His grace!
Grace! It is not a gift that is deserved. It is not a gift that is given with the quiet assumption that gift of equal value should be given in return. Grace is an undeserved gift from an un-obligated giver. This Sunday we will learn more about the wonderful grace of God. Don't miss it--see you Sunday!
October 28 - Mark Your Calendars
We need volunteers to coordinate:
- Pumpkin Patch
- Bounce Houses