Sunday, September 25, 2011


I once heard an acrostic of the word 'grace' which said 'God's riches at Christ's expense'. How true that is! We can enjoy all the riches God has to offer not because we deserve them but because Christ paid the price for us. We all want grace extended to us don't we? But are we willing to extend grace to others? Are we willing to turn the other cheek instead of retaliating? (Matthew 5:39) Are we willing to give the person who wronged us another chance?

Sometimes when we see someone who deserves punishment seemingly get off with a slap on the wrist we bristle. We don't like it. We feel like they didn't get what they deserved, but isn't that just like us? We were sinners bound for Hell yet Christ died for us. We didn't deserve His forgiveness. We deserved punishment, yet we were let off without even a slap on the wrist.

It is so easy to want grace and expect it but it sometimes is hard to extend grace to others. The apostle John said that 'we love because He first loved us' and that extends to grace as well. We were shown grace so therefore we should show grace to others. Just think of the many times Jesus showed grace in the Bible. Look at the woman who was caught in adultery. He didn't punish her or ridicule her or even avoid her because she had sinned. He simply gave her a fresh start when He said 'go and sin no more'. Since Jesus is to be our example, can't we do the same?

Colossians 4:6 tells us 'let your conversation always be full of grace'. How do you speak of others, especially when they have done something wrong? Are you ready to condemn them with the crowd or are you ready to extend grace? Face it, we 'all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God' (Romans 3:23) so who are we to hold another's sins against them?

 Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:16 that we have 'the mind of Christ'. Christ showed grace to people who didn't deserve grace. He forgave people who didn't deserve forgiving. He gave people another chance, and another, and another, and another........ If we have the mind of Christ, aren't we to do the same as He did?

One of the verses that has always checked my spirit when I have been caught in the sin of holding another's sins against them is Matthew 7:2, which says 'because the way that you judge others will be the way that you will be judged, and you will be evaluated by the standard with which you evaluate others.' Every time I start to get upset because someone hasn't got what they have coming to them, or I feel that they got off scot free, the Lord reminds me of this verse and I quickly repent. How am I to know that they haven't already repented of their sin and been forgiven by the Lord? I'm not, because the matter is between them and God, just as my sins are too. 

We will never ere by being generous in extending grace but we will ere if we judge another and hold that person's sins against them. Be an extender of grace. Matthew 10:8 reminds us that freely have we received so we need to freely give. 

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