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February 10, 2023 7:00 pm
When my friend gave me a gift recently, I was surprised. I didn’t think I deserved such a nice present form her. She’d sent it after hearing about some work stress I was experiencing. Yet she was going through just as much stress, if not more, than I was, with an aging parent, challenging children, upheaval at work, and strain on her marriage. I couldn’t believe she had thought of me before herself, and her simple gift brought me to tears.
In truth, we’re all recipients of a gift which we could never deserve. Paul put it this way: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst” (1 Timothy 1:15). The apostle had experienced a miraculous conversion from persecutor of Christians to a faithful believer in Jesus. Although he “was once a blasphemer and persecutor and a violent man, . . . the grace of our Lord was poured out on [him] abundantly” (vv. 13–14). He had a deep understanding of the free gift of grace and what it meant to be an undeserving recipient of that gift. As a result, Paul became a powerful instrument of God’s love and told many people about what God had done for him.
It’s only through God’s grace that we receive love instead of condemnation and mercy instead of judgment. Today, let’s celebrate the undeserved grace that God has given and be on the lookout for ways to demonstrate that grace to others.