2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
3And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
6For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
7For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.
8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
11And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
I’m sticking with this section today to continue Paul’s thought process where I trailed off the other day. In my connection group last night we discussed grace. What is grace? It’s a free gift from God. “…but nothing’s free in this world…” You’re right. Nothing’s free in THIS world, but in the Kingdom, grace is free. Where are you living today?
I think the most amazing thing about grace, righteousness, and forgiveness is that we don’t deserve it. That’s the kind of love God has for it. The only “human” thing I can relate that to is parents giving their child a gift even though they’ve been misbehaving. Especially this time of year, think of all the kids that will still be getting Christmas gifts even though they may be misbehaving. I know I did. So did my siblings. I’m sure many others have, are, and will continue to receive gifts they don’t deserve. (follow me on this folks) The difference, however, is those gifts really aren’t that sacrificial, are they? Sure, maybe you had to stand in line at 4 am on the worst shopping day of the year to get it. Maybe you spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars on it. The gift from God, however, is much more than that. He SACRIFICED…HIS…OWN…SON. And the son did it willingly. Think about that for a moment.
Seriously. Think about it.
Ever see “The Passion of the Christ”? If you haven’t, you should. It’s a very good visual reminder and example of what it is that Christ did for us. I think about my military buddies, and even my family. Sure, I’d take a bullet for them. Hopefully without even thinking about it. Jesus was tortured, for people who despised him, who didn’t deserve it. If that’s not the greatest gift ever, then I don’t know what is. This is grace. This is the thing you can’t earn, but only receive. If you already have received that gift, i applaud you. I admit, it’s not always an easy thing to receive a gift you don’t deserve. Having this gift, now, what are you doing with it? Is it shoved in a closet somewhere collecting dust? Is it something you think about occasionally but still neglect to pull it out and use it?
What are you doing with your gift?