Amazing grace - do we truly grasp how amazing? I've chosen the topic of grace to dig into and learn more about over the last couple of months. I've learned so much and have been awakened to what God's grace really is about. Now, isn't it just like God to show me a perfect picture of His grace while I'm studying and trying to learn more about it?
As a family, we use Heritage Builders for family night ideas. During one of our family nights, we talked about some not so good things that had happened that week (fighting with brother, bad attitude, chores not done, etc). Eric and I made a list of these things and we assigned a payment/consequence with each one - no technology, rake the back yard, clean out the garage, etc. We talked about all of this with the boys and let them know what their payment was for each item. You can imagine the reactions from the boys and how fun that part of the family night was for them (NOT). They were so upset as they thought about what their weekend was going to look like. After going through all of their consequences with them, Eric said - "you know what, because I love both of you so much I'm going to take care of every payment on this list." Of course, this was to lead up to talking about how Jesus paid the price for every sin that we have committed or will commit. That's a great picture, right? Something that the boys will remember probably for life, but that's not the part that really stood out to me. Eric went through each item one by one and said - "Jordan, I will clean the garage for you this weekend. Justin, I will take your grounding from technology for the weekend," and on and on down the list. Here's where it gets good - every time Eric said a consequence that he was going to do for the boys, they immediately offered their help. Eric would say - "Jordan, I'll rake the leaves for you," and immediately Jordan said, "I'll help you!" Eric said - "Justin, I'll clean the garage for you," and Justin immediately said, "I'll do it with you!"
This may not seem like much to you, but this reaction brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't help but think of people who are somewhat fearful to preach/teach about God's grace, because won't people take advantage of it? Won't people keep doing things they shouldn't do because they know it's been taken care of? Here's the deal - knowing how much God has covered for you doesn't make you want to take advantage of that. The boys response to Eric taking their payment for them was to turn around and help, to do what they could for their father. Their reaction was an overflow of the gratefulness in their heart for all that their father was doing for them. This should be the same with us. God has covered our sins and that is GREAT, He's poured out His grace on us and once we truly start to grasp the concept of His grace, our natural reaction is to want to live our lives for Him, to be devoted completely to Him, to do whatever He tells us to do. An understanding of God's grace only deepens our relationship with our Father and creates within us a desire to live in a way that is constantly showing our gratitude to Him.
I smile because God was a part of our family night that night, and He was whispering to me - "Shari, this is what grace looks like. This is what a heart that understands grace looks like." I've said it before and I'll say it again - I just LOVE God winks - those times when you know that God allowed something to happen JUST FOR YOU!" Amazing grace - I pray that as you continue to grow in your relationship with God you will truly understand why His grace is so amazing!