02/06/14 GRACE!

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Psalm 46:10 reads, “Be still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  This blog is yet another way for us to “be still”.  It is an opportunity for us to step out of our busy world with all of its attractions and distractions and to spend time listening to God.  I ask that each of you reading this take a moment to repeat the words Eli instructed Samuel to say to the Lord, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Romans 5:17 - 19

17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

The phrase that captures my heart’s attention is “reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ”.  As we heard in last Sunday’s message, by the grace of God we have moved from a place where we were dead in our transgressions and sins to a place where we have been seated with Christ in the heavenly realms.

What an amazing turn of events!  How are we to respond?  Today I witnessed a conversation I can’t get out of my mind.  It illustrates what it is to embrace our position of being seated with Christ in the heavenly realms.

I was with a young man, nineteen years of age.  He has had a rough time of it; spending just fifteen minutes listening to some of what he has been through is enough to break your heart.  Now he is working hard to put his life back together, to start moving forward again.  One blessing he has received is the gift of a place to stay.  He is living with a family we all know and love.  A colleague of mine who was giving the young man advice related to college and his future asked him, “What’s the BEST part about getting to stay with the Weisers?”.  The young man thought for a good two to three minutes.  I was busy thinking of what an appropriate answer would be.  Then he said, “The best part is getting to stay at a place where there is grace.”  “If I make a mistake or mess up, they talk to me instead of just yelling at me.  I’m not used to that.”

The young man’s response caused my heart to well up within me.  St. Paul is telling us in Ephesians and Romans that we have been saved by grace: “it is by grace you have been saved.”

How else can we respond other than to share that grace with others?