Giving GraceJuly 1, 2023 2023-07-01 8:00
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!
This is one of my more favorite old hymns. It speaks of the grace of God, the unmerited favor of God driven by His merciful heart to give to us what we don’t deserve beginning with breath in our lungs, salvation in our souls, and sanctification that endures for generations. It is the apex of God’s love for us. It is at the epicenter of all that we believe yet so hard to duplicate in our own heart. To receive grace is a wonderful gift. To give grace is an exercise we grapple with.
Joseph was the favorite of Jacob and his brothers hated him because of it. Jacob had made a coat of many colors for Joseph that reflected how his vision of Joseph was vivid and grande compared to the grayscale vision he saw the other brothers.
In their anger, they sold him into slavery. There, he excelled, but then falsely imprisoned. In prison, once again, he excelled. The anointing of the Lord was on Him in all he did. Finally, rescued from prison as the interpreter of dreams, God placed him second only to Pharoah over all of Egypt. Following his own interpretations of Pharaoh’s dream, he rescued all of Egypt and the nations around Egypt by saving up food in good seasons knowing full well a famine was coming. So many lives saved.
When his father died, his brothers were afraid he would now take vengeance on them, but here is what he said, “What was intended for evil, God used for good” (Genesis 50:20). He understood he did not sit in the seat of God as judge over his brothers.
The Bible says that God is working all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). What an amazing promise that God would turn everything intended for evil against us for our own good! We have no reason to fear God or hate man even when we are the object of evil. Through it all, we can trust His promise to work it for our good. But we also have a part in this promise. We must love Him and live according to His purpose. These are the triggers releasing the power to turn evil set against us into good working for us.
To love God is to obey. He taught us to forgive as He has forgiven. As He has given grace, so should we. His purpose is for us to live a life reflecting His character. A Christian who doesn’t live in the spirit of forgiveness does not let the light of Christ shine, but covers it. For us to give grace to those who have hurt us reveals the God of grace who forgave us while we were yet sinners. So hard to do. We have to fight anger, bitterness, and vengeance, giving grace. But if we can draw from the power of the Spirit to do just that, power is released allow God to turn the attack into a benefit, a curse into a blessing. To withhold grace is to refuse this gift.
I don’t know about you, but I would say this gift is too wonderful to refuse. Let’s give grace.
“you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” – Genesis 50:20
Live blessed and be a blessing!
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