His Without Reserve
Christian Life

There’s Something Else
Amazing About Grace

          Some of the most exciting developments in our Age of Technology have occurred when an innovation in one science has been combined with a discovery in another science. One-use cameras, genetic engineering, and cyberspace are a few of the results.

          It is just as exciting when an idea we have learned from the Word of God begins to interact with another idea also found in the Word. Sparks fly.

          I learned quite some time ago that my heavenly Father was so interested in me that He gave me a cluster of gifts, even though I did not deserve them. Among them are His patience with my slowness, His forgiveness of my sins, and His rescuing me from eternal death–to name just three. The Bible calls such clusters of gifts “grace.” Grace is getting what I need but don’t deserve from someone who is deeply concerned about me. Amazing!

          More recently I learned that my heavenly Father believes that even though I am subject to severe temptations and failings, I can come to think about others as Christ thinks about them. The result: I can work alongside Him in His gracious activities. This too is amazing!

          Only recently has the Spirit brought these two amazing ideas together for me. Sparks flew and a new “product” emerged.
          I’ll explain, but first let’s recall what grace does:
          (1) it saves us (Eph. 2:8).
          (2) it sets us right with God (Rom. 3:23, 24).
          (3) it frees us from enslavement to sin (Rom. 6:14).
          (4) it is the soil that nurtures our growth (2 Thess. 2:16, 17).
          Now the growth that our Father wishes for us is not only growth in knowledge or in faith that His Word is true. He intends also that we will grow more and more like Him! In what ways is it possible for a fallen being to be like the Omnipotent Creator? Not in power and intelligence, of course, but in relationships. It is to do unto others as God has done unto me!

          I am to be more than simply a recipient of this amazing grace. I am to be a distributor. “Each one,” wrote Peter, “should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).

          If the motivation of grace has filled my life, I will forgive as I have been forgiven; I will love my neighbor as God loves him. In whatever ways God treats me (remember, I do not deserve it), I will treat my spouse, my boss, my children, my neighbor.

          The call is clear. Be gracious, therefore, as your heavenly Father is gracious (to paraphrase Matthew 5:48). Growing in grace means growing in compassion and a forgiving spirit, for then I am imitating God. Ephesians 4:32 and 5:1 say so.

          Being a distributor of God’s grace means having the same attitude that God does about each person I contact. It means accepting God’s free gifts not as personal income but as matching grants to make His kingdom grow.

          Imitating God? Being as gracious as He is? The possibilities are amazing. As amazing as His grace!

(By F. Donald Yost. Published in the Columbia Union Visitor September 15, 1995. Reprinted revised by permission.)