Summary: Thios sermon is about drawing near to the grace of God!
In life “Do-overs” are not the norm… In “No Wonder They Call Him Savior.” Max Lucado writes:
I. “Not many second chances exist in the world today.. Just ask the kid who didn’t make the little league team or the fellow who got the pink slip or the mother of three who dumped for a ‘pretty little thing.’ Not many second chances. Nowadays it’s more like, “It’s now or never,” “Around here we don’t tolerate incompetence” Gotta get tough to get along.” “Not much room at the top.” “Three strikes and your out..” BUT wouldn’t it be great if there was something called “Do-overs”?
”A policeman stops you for speeding, you just tear up the ticket and say – Thanks officer but I’ll be taking a “Do over” today… The bank says you bounced a check. “Do over”, you say, “No problem” they say back” (“We will even waive your service charges!”)…. “You get in an argument with a friend and you say something mean & cruel – I think I’ll be taking that “Do over” now – “Sure thing”,” comes their reply… “Fail a test, blow a presentation at work, invest in the wrong company, forget to send in your taxes…” “All right Mr. I.R.S. man, – I’ll be taking a “Do over” this year!” (3) Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? To have a shot at second chances?
Over the last couple of weeks I have spoken about “Drawing Near to God”. First, I challenged you to “Walk with God”, like Enoch walked. Then in the second week, I called upon you to “Draw Near in the Temple” rooting out the sin in your life and making a holy dwelling place for God. The response to both sermons has been overwhelming, though several of you commented that during the second one, I stepped on a few toes and that “I should have warned you to wear your steal toed boots”. Believe me, I don’t apologize if “The Word of God put a little weight on your toes”, but I did feel lead to follow that up with a call to “Draw near to Grace”.
Gen 6:8 tells us “That Noah found grace in the Lord’s sight”. In fact if I count correctly the first 26 references to “grace” in the Old Testament refer to someone who “found grace” either in “The Lord’s sight” or “the Lord’s eyes”. Another way to say it, is that Noah found “favor”. The favor of the Lord was upon Noah, and has Noah drew nearer, and nearer to God, the grace of God abounded. Recently, Lewis Nowlin pointed out in the men’s Bible study that Noah was about 500 years old when he was instructed to build the ark, and he was about 600 years old when the first rains began to fall. One hundred years to build the ark, and he was by any standards already a very old man. Can you imagine spending 100 years doing something that all your neighbors thought was crazy? We are not sure they had even ever seen rain up to this point! But in faithfulness Noah drew near to God, and the grace of God abounded more and more.
BUT, grace isn’t really something you can work for, is it? And grace isn’t something you can just be faithful and receive, is it? Grace isn’t something you can buy, when you need an extra measure of it, really, is it? BUT rather grace is something that comes, not only when we don’t deserve it, but especially when we don’t deserve it.
Paul writes about it in this fifth Chapter of Romans. “For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit, to fill our hearts with love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” (5:5b-6) Can you imagine that for just a good person, no one is likely to die? O’ old Joe was a good person, but I wasn’t running in to that fire to save him! Now for a really good person, for someone who is especially good, I might be willing to die! Now lets see, who here is a really, really, really good person that would be worth dieing for? Well, if we find one, I’m certain that someone would be willing to risk their life for them!
But what about for a sinner? Would someone be willing to die for someone who is living a life of sin? “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were yet sinners.” (5:8). Don’t you just love that part of the communion liturgy that proclaims “Hear the good news, Christ died for you while you were yet sinners (still sinners), that proves God’s love for you. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.”