Summary: We have been given grace by God. But now what? Did you know He expects us to pass that grace onto others? Learn how to be a better grace-giver.
Al Masters lives in the eastern part of Pennsylvania. He is married and he had a little boy and a small business. He considered himself very blessed. And then, just before Christmas, quite some years ago, his little boy was killed by a 15 year old driving without a license. Al Masters was filled with a deep desire for revenge. Even though that youngster could not be brought before the full power of the law because he was a juvenile, Al wanted the book thrown at him.
Then, on Christmas Eve, his wife got him to
go to church. He listened to the story of the word
that came to the shepherds. He learned about the Savior. He recognized that he was a sinner who needed God’s grace. He needed forgiveness; he needed a Savior.
He began to weep.
When he left church he set out to find out more about the boy who killed his son. He discovered that he came from a broken home. His mother was a hopeless alcoholic. Al Masters went and met the boy. Then an incredible and unbelievable thing occurred. Al gave the boy a job in his own shop. Later he took him into his own home to live! He gave the boy what he didn’t
deserve. That’s grace.
Grace is something that God freely lavishes on us. He gives us, through Christ, things we don’t deserve and can never earn. He bestows His favor upon us by forgiving us of our sins. He freely gives us His love and acceptance. He indwells us through His Holy Spirit, establishing a personal relationship with us.We become the recipients of new life in Christ and we are given eternal life. Blessings unnumbered and unparalleled. God gave us grace and He expects us to pass that grace on to others. We are to be
grace-givers. It certainly wasn’t easy for Al Masters but with the help of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit he was able to do just that. Our text for this morning describes those who pass grace on to others.
Romans 12 commands us to “LOVE OTHERS SINCERELY. BE DEVOTED TO ONE ANOTHER IN BROTHERLY LOVE.HONOR ONE ANOTHER ABOVE YOURSELVES.SHARE WITH GOD’S PEOPLE WHO ARE IN NEED.PRACTICE HOSPITALITY.BLESS THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOU, BLESS AND DO NOT CURSE.REJOICE WITH THOSE WHO REJOICE, MOURN WITH THOSE WHO MOURN. DO NOT REPAY EVIL FOR EVIL.DO NOT BE OVERCOME BY EVIL, BUT OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD.”To obey these commands is
to be a grace-giver. Grace-givers live out these words.
Admittedly, it isn’t always easy to do these things.
It is so much easier to nullify rather than magnify the grace of God. How can we give love, forgiveness, kindness, hope, friendship and blessing to those around us especially when we don’t think they deserve such? What can we do to more fully live out the words of this text? How can we who have received amazing grace from God not turn around and pass grace on to others? In his book, The Grace Awakening, Chuck Swindoll tells why so many fall so short when it comes to grace-giving. It is because of the strong human tendency to compare ourselves with others.
Most believers are very uneasy with differences. Differences create insecurity and they keep us from giving grace to others who are different from us.
Regarding this Swindoll writes, “We prefer sameness. If someone thinks differently or makes different choices than we do, wears different clothing, has different tastes or opinions or enjoys a different
style of life, most Christians get nervous. We place far too much weight on externals and the importance of appearances and not nearly enough on individuality and
variety. We are all different and God works in our
lives in different ways. We have ‘acceptable norms’ in which we are able to move freely and allow others the freedom to do so. But heaven help the poor soul who steps beyond those bounds!” The resulting negative
comparison keeps us from being grace-givers. It
prompts the tendency to judge and when we are judging we are not grace-givers. Comparison also makes us prejudiced people and prejudice robs us of the ability to dispense grace.Without question, comparison nullifies grace.
If we are to be grace-givers and not fall into the trap of negative comparisons, we must remember that it was never God’s intention that all His children look and act alike.“Look at the natural world God created.
What variety! The buzzard and the butterfly…..the dog and the deer…..the zinnia and the orchid………the wriggling minnow and the sleek shark. The Bible wasn’t written to change us into cookie cutter Christians.”
Swindoll reminds us that the church has not been
designed to turn out mass produced reproductions.“On the contrary, the folk in Scripture are as different as Rahab and Esther, one a former woman of ill repute and the other a queen.They are as unusual as Amos and