Grateful for Grace
Grateful for Grace
Years ago now – Tom and I had the privilege to visit Armitage Baptist Church in Chicago. This church describes itself as a multicultural and multiracial church in the inner city. We had the honor to spend some time with some of the members of this incredible church family. I remember sitting at the table and listening to one of the members share about His salvation experience. As He told his story he shared with us about years of living on the streets, leading a gang, serving time in prison and many things that we could even scarcely imagine. But then, he told about coming to this church and hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ shared. He was emotional. His whole demeanor changed. He was grateful for grace.
As, I listened to him speak the one thing that jumped out was his gratitude for what God had done for him. He was amazed. He was thankful. He was overwhelmed. Jesus died for him. God had saved Him. He was changed. He was forgiven. He had been set free in ways that we will never understand. He was extremely grateful for grace. I immediately felt convicted. Was I that thankful for my salvation? Was I in awe of God’s grace or had I come to take it for granted? Did I understand – truly understand – what I had been saved from? Hmmm? Probably not. Well, at least not the way my new friend did.
You see he had lived a kind of Hell here on earth. He had experienced evilness. He had been evil. He knew far more about Satan than I will ever know – more than I ever want to know. Yet…his life had been spared. He would no longer live in Hell. He would no longer be condemned to Hell. His salvation had given him life anew. His sins were washed away. He was a new man with a new purpose and it was amazing to see. But as I sat there I realized I had once been given the same sentence. My sin condemned me to the same Hell. And because of God’s AMAZING Grace, because of His immeasurable love for me, because I accepted Jesus as my Savior – I also am born anew. I am changed. I am forgiven. And I am grateful for grace.
I am so thankful for this encounter. It left an impact. It is one of those meetings I will never forget. It has taught me to not just be grateful for grace – but to be GRATEFUL FOR GRACE!!! It is a BIG deal!!! We should rejoice! We should be busy doing for Him because of ALLLLLLLLLLLLLL that He has done for us. We are so foolish to put too much value on things that simply do not matter and little value on the ONE THING that truly does matter. Let’s live for Him. Let’s love like Him. Let’s serve like Him. Let’s be obedient to Him. Let’s live our life everyday as if we are grateful for grace…His Amazing Grace.
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Ephesians 2:4-9 (NIV)
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