Friday, September 11, 2015

Receiving and Giving Grace

I'm sitting in the porch of my (our) daughter's home. I'm probably not going to write much now. I woke about an hour before my 4:30 alarm, had a bit of early breakfast and will lie down again for a few minutes before I head to my morning work. I do, though, want to express quickly something that the Lord has been saying to me over the last 40 hours.

On Wednesday Toni and I drove from here to an office on Hwy 55 in Buffalo to do the final paperwork on the sale of our Cokato home. The "closing" went smoothly. I believe it was another sign of God's grace. I am so thankful.

Anyway, later on, as I went back to work for Wednesday's second shift, and throughout the day yesterday, I was thinking and praying over all the ways we have experienced the goodness and grace of God. Yesterday morning I had a brief conversation, in passing, with someone who had extended grace to me at a crucial moment. I've also been thinking about many people who God has allowed me to share grace with, many of whom we don't see very often during these days.

Grace is unmerited, free favor, given when it's not deserved. Grace is based on God's free gift of love, love that is sealed and shown most clearly in Jesus Christ.

I don't have time to get into all the particularities and Bible examples of that right now, but I do want to say this:

All of us who have experienced great grace have a tremendous treasure to share with others. If we withhold grace, if we tell someone, through our actions or words, that grace has run out for them, we can very easily cause them to fall. (See Mark 9:42 etc.)

During the last few days Toni and I have learned about some dear ones who we have, at one time or another, had the opportunity to share grace with but who have, in recent months, made one or more poor choices that have hurt them and others. I grieve, deeply, over this, but as we have experienced great grace in many ways during recent days, I am called to pray and act with love still. I have never deserved the grace I have received from God. Why should I begrudge or deny grace to them now.

So many in this life have been deeply hurt in ways I can't even begin to understand. Their life choices sometimes end up producing more pain. The solution, it seems to me as I sit now in my daughter's porch, does have to do with sharing the grace I and we continue to receive. We're not to back away. We're to share even more, to allow the Holy Spirit to draw us closer and closer to those God puts in our path who are especially in need.

God bless you and all on this new day. Perhaps I'll edit this or write more later today.

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