Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Confounded By Grace

Jasper Speaks:

“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement,n through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
Romans 3:22-26

Grace is a wonderful word. Still it is an idea that has always baffled me a bit. What is grace? Webster’s dictionary defines it as an unmerited gift divinely given to man for his sanctification or regeneration. Huh? I think an easy way of putting it is God not giving us what we deserve. We are all sinners. Yet God has chosen to give us this incredible gift of grace. He is saying, ask me into your life and I will forgive all the wrongs you have done. That is grace. But it is also getting what we don’t deserve. Of course, salvation is the ultimate example of getting what we don’t deserve. The Bible says in Romans 6:23 that, “the wages of sin is death but the GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

When you work at a job you earn a wage. Let’s take babysitting for example. If you are babysitting for a family you might earn $3 an hour. That is your wage. It is what you deserve for what you do. Maybe that seems like a small amount or maybe it is a large amount to you, still $3 an hour is what you earn as a wage. The Bible tells us that we have all earned death for our sin. What comes along with death? Nothing. There are no special prizes. You get death. So we deserve nothing. Still God grants us grace and he gives us things we never could earn. We get salvation and so much more. We get family. We get food. We get shelter. We get friends. We deserve nothing. The world tells us that we are deserving of things. Even television commercials encourage us to, “have it your way” and tell us “you deserve a break today”, but God’s Word is clear. We deserve nothing.

That is where grace comes in to save the day. God’s unmerited favor shines down on us and we at one are spared from what we deserve and get what we don’t deserve. It is a little mind boggling but true nonetheless. Grace is an outpouring of God’s love for us. We don’t deserve to be with him for all eternity but he loves us enough to offer that plan to us freely. Were it not for grace we would be in such trouble! God has given us SO much. We need to remember that everything we have is a gift from him --- a gift that flows from his grace. So the next time you are singing a song like “Amazing Grace”, really think about the words and thank God that we do get what we don’t deserve.