Thursday, February 19, 2009

Giving Grace

I've been preaching lately on grace, but I realize I have a lot left to learn on the subject.

Recently, we have been hurt by some fellow believers we have known for years. The situation has left us feeling betrayed and has resulted in a breakdown in trust between us and them. A good friend today, though, spoke truth into my life. He said that I need to recognize them as a catalyst of change. I know there are things in my relationship with God and others that can be improved upon, and the actions of these individuals have forced me to address them for the first time in years. Therefore, I should thank them for being used by God to help bring about necessary changes in me.

Wow! That's a pretty tall order. I have a lot of resentment that I have to let go of, some forgiveness to give. But what it really comes down to is being able to extend grace, the same kind of grace that has been given all of us in Christ. The problem with Christians is that we are first and foremost human beings, full of imperfections and prone to mess things up. But God loved all of us so much that He was willing to go to extraordinary lengths to save us anyway, to give grace to a people who didn't deserve His love.

So if God can extend grace to a world of people who have rebelled against Him, surely I, as a child who is striving to be more like his Father, can give grace to those who hurt me.

Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. It is a very surprising thing--a thing to be marveled at most of all by those who enjoy it. I know that it is to me even to this day the greatest wonder that I ever heard of, that God should ever justify me. I feel myself to be a lump of unworthiness, a mass of corruption, and a heap of sin, apart from His almighty love. I know by a full assurance that I am justified by faith which is in Christ Jesus, and treated as if I had been perfectly just, and made an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ; and yet by nature I must take my place among the most sinful. I, who am altogether undeserving, am treated as if I had been deserving. I am loved with as much love as if I had always been godly, whereas aforetime I was ungodly. Who can help being astonished at this? Gratitude for such favor stands dressed in robes of wonder.

--from All of Grace by Charles Haddon Spurgeon



Kathleen said...

Will be praying healing and restoration for you in this situation.

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