But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
Jesus, my Savior, was arrested, beaten, tortured violently, and then nailed on a cross to die. He did this at great expense to Himself—enduring not only death on my behalf, but also separation from His Father for the first time in eternity. This sacrifice cost Him everything. Do I deserve this gift of grace and forgiveness of sins from Him? No! I never could. Was this gift of grace painful for Him to offer? Yes. Was it fair for Him to return good for evil to His enemies? Was it natural? Obviously not—but that’s the amazing thing about grace.
When my daughter Seraiah was five years old, she extended this grace of forgiveness to me. She’s ten now, but I remember this clearly. My wife had warned me: “Peter, you’re pretty hard on Seraiah. You nitpick her quite a bit.” I was proud—I didn’t agree. I thought I was setting a high standard for her to pursue and that she would thank me someday. Whenever she showed me what she had made or done, I would say something like, “That’s good, honey. Now if you want to do better next time, you could change this and this.” I was exasperating my child.
Seraiah came to me one day and asked if we could speak privately. She was only five. We went into a room by ourselves. She said to me, “Dad, I love you, but I don’t really like you.” And then she covered her face. We talked for awhile. Then she said, “Dad, you are hurting me more than anything else in life.” I fell to my knees, and with tears streaming down my face, I said, “Seraiah, I am so sorry. Will you please forgive me? Will you give me another chance to be the dad you deserve?”
Offering that grace was unfair—I didn’t deserve it; it was painful. The grace that God models is painful, but we must live it out.
Faithwalkers Midwest 2016
One-Year Bible Reading
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