For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
I read a book by Philip Yancey called What’s So Amazing About Grace? in which he says that grace is the “last, best word.” One thing he means by that is that the word grace still retains its positive meaning in its many uses like grace before a meal, a gracious hostess, a gratuity at a restaurant. Positive word meanings tend to erode over time. The King James Version translators chose the word charity to denote the highest form of love, but 400 years later charity can be used as a shaming, judging word, as in “I won’t accept any of your charity.” Not so with the word grace.
We live in a world of ungrace. Thus we don’t have the paradigm to understand the grace of God. The meaning of “unmerited favor” or “kindness” doesn’t begin to explain to us what is so amazing about God’s grace. So I’d like to tell you some life-changing truths about grace. As description fails in communicating what the Northern Lights are to someone who has never seen them, so you will only know what I’m talking about when you truly experience God’s grace. But this will be a start.
In the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis we discover that grace is unnatural, unfair, and painful—for the one extending it. Joseph, as the second youngest of his 11 brothers was spoiled by his father and hated by the older ten. So when they saw their chance, these older brothers plotted to kill Joseph but instead simply sold him into slavery. Now I have a twin brother, and there were times in life we didn’t like each other very much, but I never plotted to kill him. These brothers went back to their lives in Canaan—they went home, married, had children. But not Joseph. So would it be fair for Joseph to forgive them? Think about it.
Faithwalkers Midwest 2016
One-Year Bible Reading
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