The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly.
Pastor Stu Weber relates a story about talking to a fellow Christian who was involved in an extramarital affair. The man did not deny his sin, and he voiced his plan to continue the affair. He said, “I have not abandoned my faith. Even through all this cynicism. I will return. Not to church, and probably not to my wife. But I still love the Lord deeply and cannot abandon him. I am in sin. I am taking advantage of grace.”
Grace is a part of the vocabulary of every Christian, yet many Christians have perverted the amazing gift of grace into a license for immorality, disobedience, and self-indulgence.
What is grace? One of my favorite illustrations of grace is the story of a nineteenth-century minister who lived in a poor section of London. One day he was walking down the street when he saw a little girl carrying a pitcher of milk. The little girl tripped, and the pitcher fell out of her arms and shattered on the pavement below. The girl began to cry. “My mother is going to whip me!” she wailed. Trying to comfort her, the minister said, “Perhaps we can fix it.” But after several failed attempts to mend the broken pitcher, the girl began to cry all over again. So the minister gathered the little girl in his arms and went down to the local crockery. There he bought her a brand-new pitcher, and they went and got the new pitcher filled with milk. The minister said to the girl, “Do you think your mother is going to whip you now?” She said, “Oh no, mister. This pitcher is far more beautiful than the one we had.”
That is a picture of what God has done for us. You and I were made in the image of God, but that image of God has been shattered because of sin. There is nothing you can do to put that image of God back together. But God, for no other reason than His love for you, has not only given you the forgiveness of your sins, but He has made you into a brand-new person.
Think about that little girl. Once the minister gave her the brand-new pitcher, what do you think she did with it? Did she toss it in the air to see if she could catch it? Did she balance it on her head, thinking, “Well, if it falls, I know a man who can buy me another one”? No, I imagine she clutched that pitcher close to her chest. She took care of it because it had been freely and unexpectedly given to her. That is what grace is–God’s undeserved burst of generosity.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Grace Escape” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2020.
Stu Weber, “Spirit Warriors” (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2001), 104.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org