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Spurgeon illustrated grace with this story in his book, All of Grace. A man visited a woman he knew to be in great financial need. He visited with a generous gift to help her with her expenses. He knocked at the door. She heard the knock, panicked and hid so no one would know she was there.
The next weekend he told her about his visit. She said, "I heard you knock, but I did not realize it was you. I thought it was my landlord collecting the rent I could not pay!"
Let that sink in for a moment. The man came desiring to give, but she mistook him for someone coming to take. So often God is mistaken as one exacting payment from people, when the fact is that he is the one giving gifts to people.
So many people and religions in the world today are geared to think, "Here is what you must do for God." In Christianity, that is turned over. Our message is, "Here is what God has done for you!" That's grace.
(Source: C. H. Spurgeon, All of Grace, Christian Heritage, 2008. From a sermon by Jeff Saltzmann, "Donít Stray from Grace" 7/14/08, SermonCentral.com)
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