GodReflection: Is Grace Still Amazing
This morning I feel called to ramble a bit. I will likely cover ground I’ve walk across before. Hopefully a new thought or two will emerge.
My plan is to move toward closure on this series of posts on grace by the end of May. Its endless treasure leaves vast space for a lifetime of exploration. For to understand grace’s full scope is parallel to the impossible challenge of comprehension of Father, Son, and Spirit.
Across the journey of childhood and adolescent, my parents, family, friends, and teachers gave me more grace than I deserved. I just didn’t know God was familiar with the concept.
I quickly discovered after becoming a baptized teenager that baptismal waters didn’t keep me from being human. I did the best I could for a year or so until my conscience became heavier than I could bear.
Finally, at the appropriate time, a song of invitation rang out and I would make my way to the front of the assembly. There I confessed my weakness before the church, and I was ready to go again for another year or so. Too bad I didn’t own a confession booth.
When I left home to move toward adulthood, I enrolled in a Junior College for my first two years of higher education. It was a shock to discover teachers and administrators who thought student should be challenged. They had no idea how unprepared I was for the task ahead.
Professor Gerald Kendrick introduced me to the gift of grace that runs cover to cover through Scripture. I am sure that I still exhibited shock symptoms from a year’s study with Dr. Kendrick when I walked into the Sophomore class of K.C. Moser on the Letter to the Romans.
He was one of the first in my church to discover grace. An autographed copy of his classic book, The Gist of Romans, still holds a place of honor on my bookshelves. The graceful old teacher brought the fresh breeze of grace into the windows of my soul in ways that still influences my life. For him, grace was a present to give and I was the one to receive.
Grace is a gift. Paul, an apostle describes the gift of grace to the church in the city of Ephesus. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” That act of grace is a gift from Father, Son, and Spirit that grows as I age.
The truth is I now see grace as a secure word standing at the center of my soul to guide my walk on earth. My understanding of the gift increases with each year. It grows in both size and strength. It is God’s gift through Jesus to cover my daily human failure with sacrificial blood from a cross.
Grace functions as an intertwined vine. There is a strong strand that provides the gift of God’s grace to me and a weaker strand that provides my gift of grace to others. I desire and need God’s strong vine to secures me in his hand. That strong strand covers the Adam in me. We might conclude to receive is not that difficult.
What is harder is to give my own gifts of grace. Jesus teaches that I am to be his hands and feet on earth. He taught his twelve apostles, “Freely you have received; freely give.” To see grace as a force from God to save and guide my life is one thing. To be a dispenser of God’s grace that flows from my life is more difficult to carry out.
To dispense grace is not a natural act on my part. It is easy to write of my desire to awake each morning to shower grace on others. It is not so easy to carry out my God-given assignment.
“Lord Jesus, forgive me when I fail to remember the enormous cost to heaven that makes grace a powerful resource to accompany me through this world. I pray that you will empower me each morning with eyes to see and a heart to serve. Like a gentle rain, falling from the heavens may my life shower grace upon all whom I encounter. May the Grace that flows from your heart be a guide today as I go forth powered by your Spirit. Let it be so.”
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: Ramblings on Grace.