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September 23 • 04:28 AM
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Discerning what grace is and what it's not



shadow
shadow
December 23, 2009
"Grace was never meant to be fair, or it would not be grace.''

We forget. If we've been recipients ourselves, we forget to extend it to others. We forget to thank the one who extended it to us. We forget the WOW factor of it all.

In a series of seasonal meditations, Dr. Reginald Smith makes many pithy observations. He paints a little word picture of the kid in the grocery store telling his mother that he deserves his favorite cereal with the action figure inside the box. "Where,'' Smith asks, "did the boy get the idea he deserved it?''

Dr. Smith changes gears as he recalls the time he was catching a bus in Atlanta and came up short fifty cents. The driver waved him on with a "That's your miracle for the day.''

He includes a little paragraph from Michael Yaconelli's Messy Spirituality. "Nothing makes people in the church more angry than grace. It's ironic: we stumble into a party we weren't invited to and find the uninvited standing at the door making sure no other uninvited get in. Then a strange phenomenon occurs: as soon as we are included in the party because of Jesus' irresponsible love, we decide to make grace 'more responsible' by becoming self-appointed kingdom monitors, guarding the kingdom of God, keeping the riffraff out.''

Yaconelli's comments show, observes Smith, just how quickly we can stumble when left on our own to figure out Jesus.

Smith adds, "Jesus is life. In him, we are given real life that can't be purchased or sold on a gift card. We see Him—and everything else—in light of his fierce love, a perfect love which drives away all fear.''

God's grace—not fair, yet not merely efficient, but amazingly generous—extravagant!

Willene Tanis is a longtime resident of the Imlay City area and an active volunteer in the community. Many readers find her 'Perspectives' column to universal and uplifting.
Castle Creek
09 - 23 - 18
04:28
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