One morning as a young child, I was to learn a valuable lesson about grace. Except I had no idea it was called grace, back in the day....I loved the little lambs frolicking around the farm where we my parents rented a little house. The farmer's daughter's had lambs for Lamb and Calf day and I probably thought I would like that too.This particular morning, I chose a little lamb that I would play with after school. Knowing nothing of the dangers of a thin rope called twine, I tied the lamb to the fence on one end and his neck on the other...
Off to school I went, without a care. My parents told me later in that the lamb indeed had died...he must have chocked and hanged himself on the fence trying to get free. The farmer asked my parents to pay the price for a fully grown sheep. Over 50 years later, I still feel sad that I did that but it was accidental. A child has very little foresight.
As a child; sometimes as adults; we do and say things that we later regret and there is nothing- absolutely nothing- we can do to change the situation. The only thing we can do is throw ourselves at the mercy of God and His grace.
So what actually is this 'grace'?? I have experianced grace as God's unmerited favour. No- it is not overlooking our sin but a way of restoring us after we have acknowledged our mistakes. Restoring us so that we can start again.
Grace is also given to us to strengthen us in our weakness for Jesus tells us My grace is sufficient for you.
There are countless stories in the Bible of Jesus extending grace-not wrath- to men and women who have done things that there was no going back from. In fact, if there was no grace extended, the person may have decided they didn't want to live. Such is the power of grace.
How about you? Have you extended grace to someone who has hurt you?
In John 8 verses 2- 11 is the account of a woman being brought to Jesus as she had been caught in the act of adultery. The teachers of the law who had brought her to Jesus, stood ready to stone her- such was the law at that time. On this occasion- instead of answering their questions, Jesus wrote something on the ground with his finger. Then he asked that those who were without sin to cast the first stone. After this,He wrote something else on the ground. As he did this the men left -one at a time.....until there was only the woman and Jesus.
v 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? "
11. "No one, Sir," she said. Then neither do I condemn you." Jesus declared. "go and leave your life of sin."
This is an example of grace. Restorative grace. The law said she must be stoned. John 1 v 14b Jesus came- full of grace and truth.
I wish I could tell you that I didn't do anything stupid after that episode with the lamb but alas I have blown it several times in my life. Mistakes as a daughter, a wife, a mother,a nurse, a friend... and you too will have your own stories where unless you sought the goodness,forgiveness and the grace of God and accepted it; you would have found it hard to live another day.
What I am so grateful for is that Jesus went ahead of us. He went ahead to the Cross; He went ahead to pay a debt that we could never pay; He went ahead and prepared grace and and mercy for us because He knew in advance that without His grace we might be tempted to give up- such is our disdain, shame and disgust in ourselves at the thought of some of things we have done. He went ahead and planned for us to understand and experiance grace at salvation and He continues to offer grace to those still considering their options.
How are you at receiving this grace?
How are you at receiving this grace?