A Lesson In Grace (Unmerited Favor)

We want a beautiful relationship with God. And we want beautiful relationships with other people. Consider this. Have you ever wished that someone could become your guardian angel? Anytime you had a problem, he would be available when you needed a shoulder to cry on. He would always make time for you. He would be a safe haven from the world.

You may think it would be an ideal situation to have someone who is truly devoted to helping you. But you would soon discover that for someone to be that devoted to you, he would have to think that you were a total failure. For him to drop everything and come running every time you stubbed your toe, he would have to think that you were totally helpless. Not a very attractive picture, is it?

And you would lose your respect for your guardian angel if he could be so easily swayed by your demands that he would neglect his other responsibilities. You would wonder how trustworthy he is if he could abandon his other duties.

Now consider this. Have you ever acted like a jerk? Have you ever done something stupid? Did you ever have a sick feeling in your stomach that you alienated someone with your behavior? Someone offered you a beautiful relationship, but you did not treat that relationship with respect. So you were filled with dread that your foolishness would ruin your beautiful relationship with him. And you had to wait to see if he would take you back. When he did take you back, your dread was replaced with relief, and then rejoicing.

We have a sick feeling in our stomach and are filled with dread that our sin, our foolishness, will ruin the beautiful relationship God has offered us. But we do not have to wait to see if God will take us back. When we go to God in prayer and ask for forgiveness, God forgets our foolishness. God restores His beautiful relationship with us. And our dread is replaced with relief, and then rejoicing. We do not deserve God's love, but He loves us anyway. That is grace.

Our relationships with other people sometime buckle under if we place too much pressure on them. Thank God that He can handle pressure better than people can. Thank God that He will not buckle under. Thank God for His grace.

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