Come Taste the Grace

Have you seen grace?  It’s getting harder and harder to spot these days.  Our world is bent on merit which serves as an important piece of a free and prosperous society but can have its limitations.  Unwashed Harry said a man would have to know those things, and we should all understand that even good principles have exceptions.  So it is that, even in a meritocracy, there must be room for grace which is by definition something that cannot be bought or earned.  Like the elusive Sasquatch, there is scant evidence of its existence in our time.  Few have experienced its sweetness.  Those who have describe it with difficulty and are often unable to recall its residence or the pathway to its lair.

I said grace is not something that can be earned.  Scripture tells us that something garnered through work is not grace.  The designation can only be applied to a free gift.  At the same time, grace is not something that can be demanded.  It is not an entitlement program understood in current terms.  Entitlement programs are set up by governments and funded by the forcible taking from one to benefit another, and those reliant on such often develop self-centered attitudes like the horseleech crying, “Give, give.”  That is not to say that these entities do no good, and they may have noble designs, but they are not grace.  A gift must be freely given to be gracious and not based on the merit of the recipient.

Grace is a two-way street.  It comes from the loving heart of the giver to the humble soul of the beneficiary.  As Briscoe Darling said to Andy, “There’s gracious in giving and gracious in receiving.”  Failure on either part renders the virtue unvirtuous, a mockery of itself.  This point is misunderstood by many proponents of the aforementioned programs designed by society to lift the financially impoverished.  They consider themselves to have gained a level of moral superiority by redistributing wealth regardless of willingness on one part and gratitude on the other.  They call it understanding.  The gift must be understood on both parts because everything that is free actually has a price.

God’s grace is manifest on many levels.  It is His grace that allows us to live and have being.  Any good thing in life is a product of His grace, as well.  In fact, even the bad things in life that build and teach us are products of the same.  Each time we are unrequited for evil, God’s grace is in play.  Grace should teach our hearts to fear when we understand that all the circumstances of our lives actually derive therefrom.  In a real way, we will never understand the fullness of grace until eternity commences to our credit or discredit.  We are enveloped in love and forbearance all the day of our lives.  They fact that we are ignorant thereof is inexcusable regardless of our circumstances, upbringing or adamant hearts. 

It is God’s disposition to redeem.  Because of this, Adam and Eve were not annihilated when they sinned in Eden, and you and I receive latitude when we exhibit our unintentional or intended weaknesses.  The supreme manifestation of God’s grace was seen in Jesus’ vicarious death on the cross for our sins, the gift of His love which must be graciously received to have efficacy.  This gift was given with no charge but cannot be accessed save through humility, confession and repentance which are indeed all the same response in the one who seeks redemption at the urging of the Spirit.  No one is too far away to taste that the Lord is good and experience the grace of God.

Sterl

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