Summary: A sermon on the grace of God

Matthew 20:1-16

give ills. of a grazing mace

There was a mechanic who owned a dog named Mace. Mace loved to eat grass, so the mechanic kept him inside so he wouldn't ruin the lawn. One day the mechanic decided to finish his work at home, so he took some tools home with him.

When he got home he realized that he dropped his favorite wrench out in the yard, and was so upset that he forgot to close the door so Mace wouldn't get out. He searched for the wrench, but couldn't find it because the grass was too tall.

Next morning he found his wrench in the yard, because his dog had eaten the grass near it.

The mechanic was so happy he started to sing

A grazing Mace,

How sweet the hound,

That saved, a wrench for me.

It once was lost,

but now is found...

Song, amazing grace that saved a wretch like me,,,,, definition of grace.. : a miserable person : one who is profoundly unhappy or in great misfortune

: a base, despicable, or vile person

amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me

Grace, in the magnitude that Jesus offers it, is difficult for me to get my mind around.

The Bible says, “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” That’s some pretty super-sized grace.

It also tells us in Romans 8:1, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (emphasis mine)

Despite the clarity of these statements, it seems difficult for us – for me anyway – to really hang on to just how forgiven I am.

We all need to receive..... the Grace of God.

It Is All .....About Grace!

A story is told about Fiorello LaGuardia, who, when he was mayor of New York City......Which was during the worst days of the Great Depression and all of World War II, .........was called by many New Yorkers ......"the Little Flower" because he was only five foot four ......and always wore .......a carnation in his lapel.

He was a colorful character who used to ride the New Your City fire trucks, ........ raid speakeasies with the police department, ...... take entire orphanages to baseball games, ...... and whenever the New York newspapers were on strike, ...... he would go on the radio ......and read the Sunday funnies the kids.

One bitterly cold night in January of 1935, ......the mayor turned up at a night court ...... in an area that served the poorest ward the city.

LaGuardia had dismissed the judge for the evening .......and took over the bench himself.

Within a few minutes, ......a tattered old woman was brought before him, ...... charged with stealing .......a loaf of bread.

She told LaGuardia that her daughter's husband had deserted her, .......her daughter was sick, ...... and her two grandchildren ......were starving.

But the shopkeeper, ....... from whom the bread was stolen, ....... refused to drop the charges.

"It's a real bad neighborhood, your Honor." .......The shopkeeper told the mayor.

"She's got to be punished to teach others around here ......a lesson."

LaGuardia sighed.

He turned to the woman and said, ........"I have got to punish you.

The law makes no exceptions ...... ten dollars ......or ten days in jail."

But even as he pronounced sentence, ...... the mayor was already reaching into his pocket.

He extracted a bill and tossed it into his hat saying, "Here is the ten dollar fine which I now remit; ...... and furthermore I am going to fine everyone in this courtroom fifty cents for living in a town .....where a person has to steal bread that her grandchildren can eat.

Mr. Bailiff, ..... collect the fines and give them to the defendant."

The following day the New York City newspapers reported that $47.50 was turned over to a bewildered old lady ......who had stolen a loaf of bread to feed her starving grandchildren,...... fifty cents of that amount being contributed by the red-faced grocery store owner.

While some seventy petty criminals, ...... people with traffic violations, ...... and New York policemen, .....each of whom had just paid fifty cents ...... gave

the mayor a standing ovation.

Here is my question. ..... Did the elderly lady in the story get what she deserved?

Of course not.

She had stolen a loaf of bread.

She had a good reason to take the bread, but still, she broke the law, and had to be punished..

.....What we see in the story called grace.

Grace is when one in superior power .....shows kindness or mercy...... to one ...... in a lesser position.

Grace is receiving what we don't deserve,, unmerited favor

Mayor LaGuardia, rather than demanding punishment of the woman herself,......paid the fine ......that is just what God did for us. We were guilty, and had to be punished, but Jesus paid our fine on Calvary.

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