Grace, freely given.
Saturday morning, I returned to my car after working out at the gym, and saw a text message on my cell phone. “Please Christine--my best friend’s mother is dying; she may not make it through the night. I am driving to see her and the family, and pray with them. I do not think she knows God. Can you send me some verses and something to share with her?”
Of course, since I am no stranger to bedside prayer and visitation. It is a sweet time, an intimate time. I put together some Scripture and suggested prayers, and sent them off. I prayed along with my friend that the mother would be coherent enough to hear what my buddy had to share with her, and then continued to pray for him throughout the day and into the evening. About 10 p.m., I got a text message from him that our prayers had been answered…she had heard him, and the whole family had been comforted as well. I just had to call and hear more—he was exhausted, but jubilant, realizing what God had used him to do. God had used him to extend His grace to the dear woman, bringing her and her family the peace of God.
And so we consider Paul’s words:
We urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain
now is the time of God’s favor,
now is the day of salvation from 2 Corinthians 5
God’s grace is in vain if man does not take a hold of that grace . . .
But it may still be in vain if we do not give God’s grace away, because then apparently, it has not made enough impact on us that we would want to share it with others! In some way, we have failed to recognize how desperate we are without the grace of God, and how it can radically change everything in our lives. Grace is God’s gift to us, and we must see the need in sharing it with others; we must look for ways to give God’s grace away.
“I believe that dispensing God’s grace is the Christian’s
main contribution.” Philip Yancey
One way we dispense God’s grace is by
telling others how our lives have been changed by him.
So often, we think that people do not follow God because they are not interested; truthfully, many have never heard. Yes, more and more, even in America. I shall never forget when I asked a neighborhood friend who was attending my Bible study what she thought about Jesus. “Well really, I am new to all of this.” Thinking she meant ‘new’ to Bible study, I asked, “Did you grow up with faith?” “No, and actually, this is the first time someone has told me about Jesus, and what he did.” I probably did not guard my shock very well. Oh Friends, we must share what we know and have experienced!
“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” Romans 10.14-15
How else can you offer God’s grace, especially when unsure of what to say?
Let’s say it is a work colleague, or a parent on your boy’s basketball team,
or a neighbor who is going through a difficult time…
~Pray faithfully for the guy
~Invite her to some place she will hear of God’s wonderful works …
~Extend kindness and generosity to him
~Care genuinely about him, and what he cares about
~Be quick to forgive, ready to believe the best in others
I’m sure there are a myriad of other ways to extend the grace of God to other people. The main thing is to start thinking about it, and then begin to do it. Let us not take God’s grace in vain. Come on--let’s grow in it, then let’s let it overflow from us to others . . . what do you say? Let's tell them about Jesus!
Amazing Grace, the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogxLNlgKM8c