Years ago I went on a Christian retreat and after a talk on grace each table was given a poster board. We were told to come up with a poster that would illustrate the topic, but to make it fun and memorable. Our poster was called, “Grace is not a blue eyed blond.” All these years later I still remember it and the fun we had. What a cool way to help us remember an important message. So what is Grace if it is not a lovely person of the female persuasion?
The word grace means to offer mercy, clemency or pardon, to show favor. I know as a parent I have given grace over and over to our children. I also know my parents did that for me. Grace is different than a debt you have to pay because grace is forgiveness without any strings. It is giving someone compassion and love along with forgiveness whether they love us back or not, without expecting anything in return. This is not an easy thing to do, but I have found it easier with my children, I guess because my love is so strong for them.
When I think of my children it helps me understand God’s love for us. We are pretty good at messing up and causing God sorrow, but he loves us anyway and he offers His grace through the death of His son Jesus who atoned for our sins on the cross. We could not live long enough or be good enough to earn such a gift, but the Lord hands it out to everyone who will accept it and seek his forgiveness and love.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Grace is the message of Easter and it is the message we are to deliver to others. We are not to just talk the talk, but walk the walk. As grace receivers we need to become grace givers. We need to understand that we have received God’s strength, peace and joy by living in a relationship with Christ. People without the Lord do not have this stabilizing force in their life so we should take that into consideration before we judge them by their actions. I have heard the phrase,” love the sinner but hate the sin.” It is like having compassion for the father and motherless. These children have a hard time giving love because they have never received love themselves so in many ways they know no better. When Jesus hung on the cross he knew that about the people around him and he offered this prayer up to God:
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
Being a Christian is not always easy because even when we live in a close relationship with God we face temptation and problems like everyone else. The secret is to read the Bible daily and stay in prayer. We need to seek out and enjoy Christian fellowship and worship. These things will keep us strong. When we miss these important steps, we walk away from our source of strength and become very vulnerable. Without stopping to evaluate, we can drift back into the quick sand with the rest of the world.
Take heart and soak up the richness of Easter and the hope that is ours in Christ. Let the following scriptures become more than words but a truth that can carry us through.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
I pray that you have a wonderful and meaningful Easter with your family and friends.
Author of the book, S.O.A.P. How To Clean Up Your Stinking Thinking One Day At A Time main page of this website or www.sallystierhoff.com
Who is Sally? I have been very happily married for 31 years and we have four grown children and 7 grandchildren.