Summary: A continuing look at the grace we receive from God. This is our call to extend grace to others.
Freely Grace, Grace Freely
April 28, 2019
The great Economist, Milton Friedman coined the phrase, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” In lots of ways that’s true. When someone gives you something, oftentimes they want something in return. Maybe not at that moment, but they will be back asking for something. Think about how that works at Christmas. We joke about it, but when someone gives you a gift, we think we need to find something to give back to them.
We can get pretty jaded and cynical about stuff like this. When someone offers us something for free, no strings attached, we tend to believe there are strings attached. We wonder what’s the catch. Most of you know I love books, and when I get that email add telling me to go to a certain link and this book will be free . . . I’m there. But then comes the catch they want you to pay money for shipping or sign up for a 30 day free trial. UGH!!
Well, for the past 6 weeks we’ve been talking about grace in a series I’ve labeled GRACEOLOGY. While we didn’t talk about grace last week at Easter, in many ways we did talk about it through the resurrection.
Today, we’re going to look at grace in a different way. It’s about what we do with grace, then next week, we’ll look at offering ourselves grace, then we get to Mother’s Day and I’ll be talking about a woman from the Bible we need to know.
As we look at GRACE today . . . we need to believe and that’s a key word for me. It’s about faith in Jesus, but we have to add believing what this faith is about. Without it, really we’re sunk and the potential for life transformation is not going to happen.
We need to believe and this will be key next week as well. We need to believe. There’s nothing that God's grace cannot erase. It doesn't matter how far you’ve fallen, you can be restored. It doesn't matter how long you’ve been gone, you can come home. It doesn't matter how many and/or which sins you’ve committed, you can be forgiven. That's God's grace.
Folks, that’s something we need to believe and I may say it again next week!!
When it comes to God’s grace, we can’t think "If God is going to forgive me, why not keep on sinning and then come to God and ask for His forgiveness?" Because, ultimately, God will forgive me, if I’m really sincere - - - right?
Now, that makes about as much sense as me saying, "If the doctor can heal a broken thumb, then I should just hit it again with a hammer and ask the doctor to fix it again?"
How many people do you know who have experienced the grace of God, they’ve been profoundly changed and how many do you think will say, "Hey, that was fun. I think I'll do it again." Sin is destructive. No one knows that better than the people who have lived in it.
BUT, the power of God’s grace is that He can pull you out of it and restore you and heal you and make your life good again ... and you’d have to be crazy to want to put yourself through that misery all over again.
God's grace restores you and changes you. When you experience God's grace, you want to be different. And you begin to recognize when you’ve fallen short, you grasp the moments when you mess up, when you sin, when you make that hurtful comment to someone . . . we begin to better understand God’s grace in light of our sinfulness.
We’ve been talking about receiving God’s grace and I want to look at what it means to extend God’s grace to others.
There is a sense in the Bible - - - I want to be careful here, that you reap what you sow. Now, that is biblical, but we can take that to an extreme and fall into the health and wealth gospel and that’s not an accurate meaning of this.
In Luke 6:35, Jesus said –
37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.
For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Now, we are called to give grace because we have received grace. We give not so that we will receive from others or God, but we give because we have already received from God.
This passage can be a little confusing, so let me quickly unpack it for you.