Monday, November 2, 2015

The Gift of Grace

               Grace is an amazing thing.  The older I get, the more aware I am of my continual need for it.  I need grace from my wife and daughter because I don’t always get it right as a husband or father.  I need grace from my parents and sisters because I have not always been the son or brother that God created me to be.  I need grace from my friends and neighbors because I can be a lousy friend and a bad neighbor.  And I need grace from my brothers and sisters in Christ because I’ve sometimes failed them as a minister in Christ’s church and as a fellow disciple and sojourner. 

               Thankfully, following Jesus isn’t about getting everything just right all of the time.  Following Jesus is about fixing our eyes on him, getting back up when we stumble and fall, and slowly, but surely, continuing along the way until we finally reach maturity and completeness in him.  Sure, we’re called to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses as we follow Jesus.  But even then, we often get self-denial and cross-bearing wrong.  So thank God there’s grace all along the way!  Jesus’ first disciples frequently misunderstood him, acted as stumbling blocks for him, and even denied that they ever knew him.  And yet, Jesus shared these words with them, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age – houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions – and in the age to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30).  As I inadequately continue to follow the path that Jesus tread, I’m reminded that I need to be willing to extend grace to others because I’ve received so much grace from so many, especially Jesus.  From whom have you received grace?  To whom do you need to extend it? - Shay        

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