Grateful For Grace!
Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Romans 8:1; Romans 8:31-34; Jude 1:24-25
There surely has been a lot of ugliness revealed in the news during the past few years. We have heard stories about politicians, movie stars, prominent business leaders and clergy. Details of sin and failure have been paraded into our living rooms, and often, we don't know the veracity of the accounts we hear. It is not my desire here to speculate as to the guilt or innocence of any person or try to figure what, if any, price anyone should pay for what he or she has done. Instead, I would like to highlight God's amazing offer of grace. What a joy to share what this grace means to me and what a privilege it is to hold it out. Jesus offers this precious gift to any man, woman, boy or girl who will personally receive it.
What Grace Means To Me:
First, grace is for me because I am a sinner, Romans 3:23. Paul noted this same fact in 1 Timothy 1:15. There is no sin that I have committed or any that I will commit that has or ever will surprise God. His knowledge of me is complete. That is wonderful news because that means that He will never learn something about me which will cause Him to stop loving me. I have no reason to fear that, one day, that someone will reveal a "secret" about me that will shock and disgust Him. How precious that truth is, and how good it is to remind myself that since grace was not earned, it won't be withdrawn due to my sin, even the ones which I have not yet committed. Instead, because I have received His grace, I am thoroughly cleansed from every sin, Romans 8:31. Because I have been covered by Jesus' righteousness, purchased through His death and resurrection, my record of sin has been totally and irrevocably erased, 2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 61:10.
Second, His grace is a picture of His love that I can show to others. When, enabled by His Spirit, I speak of sins that God has forgiven, Jesus' grace is on display. Oh, the joy of being able to convey the truth that Jesus has buried my sins in the depths of the sea and trampled them under His feet, Micah 7:18-19. The record of wrong against me has been taken away, having been nailed to His cross, Colossians 2:13-14. Paul showed us how to put God's grace on display in 1 Timothy 1:12-17. He talked about the gravity of his sin, not to beat himself up, but rather to shine the light on how wondrous God's grace truly is. So, if Satan reminded the apostle of his dark past, Paul could stop the evil one's chatter by praising the Lord for the fact that all of his sin had been cleansed by Jesus' blood, Isaiah 1:18; 1 Peter 1:18-19. Yes, people knew all about the apostle's past transgressions, but God's grace showed how deep and all-encompassing, God's love for sinners truly is. God will not bring up our sins against us, Romans 8:1; Romans 8:33-34. Yet, if people do, we can humbly honor the Savior Whose love is so great, Psalm 103:10-13. No, we are not proud of our sins. However, we can walk with our heads held up because we no longer carry the guilt and shame that once clung to us. The Lord is our glory, the One Who lifts up our heads, Psalm 3:3. What a gracious Savior.
Third, because I have received God's grace, I will someday stand before Him with great joy. He will present me with joy as His daughter, and I will have the joy of rejoicing in the fact that it is only because of His grace that I am safely in His presence, Jude 1:24-25.
Let's go back for a moment to the people whose lives are chronicled in the news. The beautiful thing is that each of them, whether guilty or innocent of what they have been accused of, is a candidate to receive God's grace. If they were in our circle of friends, that is the Good News we could share with each of them. Man may or may not be willing to give them another chance, but the incredible thing is that God wants them to know about His grace. Each one who does not yet belong to Him. May the Lord send His workers into their lives.
Lord, Thank You for Your grace.