“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
I pose a question to you with a heart of understanding; if God’s grace is sufficient enough to forgive you of your sins, is your grace sufficient enough to forgive someone of theirs toward you? I know that we are not perfect, yet we are to be perfect in Christ. We, as Christians, are called to a higher level of excellence. We are reminded of Peter when he asked Christ, “Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? [As many as] up to seven times?” Jesus answered him, “I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven!”( See Matthew 18:21-22) What the world would consider foolish, God sees it as wisdom. The world would want you to hold a grudge so that you don’t get hurt again. God wants you to forgive so He can heal the wounded. As Joyce Meyer says, “Hurting people hurt people.” Many times, people offend, ridicule, or disrespect us because they are hurting. But as Christians, we should be able to say that “if God is for us then who can be against us?” You can take what the enemy meant for harm and turn it around for your good. Grace is defined as “Unmerited favor.” This means that you give favor to those who have not earned it and do not deserve it, as Christ did on Calvary. What power do we have to give favor to people that do not deserve it!
For example, someone cuts you off in traffic and you have to embrace yourself for the worst side of you. Now, you have a choice, are you going to give grace or are you going to have a swift tongue and a hateful attitude towards them? Talk is cheap, it is plain and simple. People don’t want another gospel tract or to see a Christian bumper sticker. They want to see you act what you preach. People don’t need another Sunday School lesson. What they need is proof of your love for Christ. If you get cut off in traffic, the best thing to do is to practice grace. It’s going to happen anyway, so prepare yourself. “God, I am not going to get upset at the person. Protect them wherever they may be going. If someone is sick, heal them in the name of Jesus.” You never know when someone who cuts you off may be having a bad day or someone is dying in their life and they are deep in thought or even they may have just lost their job. It’s so easy to fly off the handle at people who wrong us, but God has a higher level for you to obtain. Wouldn’t be awesome if someone cut in line in front at the grocery store and you paid for their things.
Or what if someone dropped trash in your yard and you went over and cleaned theirs? What would the world be if Christians simply acted like Christians? Grace knows no status, no race, no religion, no popularity, and it does not conform to the wise, to the elect, or to the underprivileged. God’s grace is available to all people, everywhere, anytime, and anyway. God does not say to one that His grace is sufficient for sin A, B, but not C. We must not neglect the fact that we are ambassadors of Jesus Christ. As we reflect the love of God, we should be ready to embrace for impact. Many remember the plane crash in the Hudson River. Many testimonies reflect the pilot’s instructions to his passengers, “embrace for impact.” Whenever you are flying, your life is not in your own hands. It is in the hands of a person in the cockpit of the plane. If the pilot tells you to put your seatbelt on, you are not going to ask for scripture and verse on why you should have your seatbelt on. The same is true with God. If God tells you to extend grace to people, you need not ask what scripture it is and the verses to go along with it. God wants to see you free from bitterness, resentment, and anger. Those things are harbored up in you when you don’t extend grace to those who offend you. Be prepared at all times, in season and out of season, know that you will be tested and tried on grace in the next twenty-four hours. Grace is also a heart matter. If you harbor the unforgiveness in your heart, you will expose it in the world.
In Matthew 12: 33-35, Jesus spoke to the religious leaders of Jerusalem, “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”
Christ was none too pleased with the religious leaders because of their double-mindedness. But Christ also offered grace to them. How so? He offered, through his teaching, many times in many scenarios on how to be truly born again. The question remains, “if God’s grace is sufficient enough to forgive you of your sins, is your grace sufficient enough to forgive someone of theirs toward you?” How are you going to extend God’s grace into someone’s life? When someone commits a sin in your life, are you going to jump all over them and quote verse by verse scripture of why they are wrong and you are right? Or are you going to say ‘eh, it’s not big deal? Thank you, God, for taking care them. Give me the grace to forgive them and to move on. If I need to address the situation, give me wisdom. Allow me, Father, to be a vessel of your grace.” I give you this challenge today to simply allow someone to receive God’s grace through you. Experience the freedom of God’s grace!