Summary: A reminder that the person who has received grace is the one who’s able to give it to others
Ann J. Musico, New York - My son, Matthew, was 7 when the school sent home his standardized test scores. When I saw that he had scored a 99% in math, I praised him and said, "You must have inherited Daddy's math genes." The look on my husband's face was priceless when Matthew ran up to him and said, "Daddy, look what I got on my math test. I guess I do have your math pants!"
It doesn’t surprise us when we see what parents have poured into their children being lived out by their children. The principle works:
Do you want to see your children be honest? Be honest with them. Keep your promises to them.
Do you want to see your children be kind? Treat them with kindness.
Do you want to see your children be unselfish? Place their needs before your own.
Do you want to see your children be forgiving? Forgive them when they mess up.
Should it surprise us, then, that God expects His children to be people who show grace to one another, and to others too? Have you received God’s grace? By this time, are you grateful that God made another way, a way apart from Law, that we can stand clean before Him?
God has poured out His grace on us. The outcome of receiving grace, is to extend grace to others. Verse 10 gives us an order for how that’s supposed to happen. First, in the Church, 2nd, to everyone. Let’s look in first…
I. Extend Grace in the Lord’s Household (vv1-6)
There are different people in the Church. There always should be. I see 3 kinds here in these first verses: v1 is a person who has stumbled. Vv2-5 involves a person who is burdened. V6 involves a person who teaches. All of them are people in the Church who need us to extend grace to them.
1. To Those Who Stumble
Joke – a sheriff deputy was on the road when he came across a one-car accident. A man driving a pickup truck with a horse trailer had blown a Firestone tire and wrecked into a ditch on a lonely road. He was thrown from his truck, the horse was thrown from the trailer, and his dog in the back of the pickup also was thrown. The deputy first came across the horse. It was badly injured, and there was no chance it could recover. Being a humane man, and hating to see an animal suffer, he drew out his service pistol and put it out of its misery. Then, he saw the dog. It was badly hurt, and whimpering. There was no chance it would live either, so he put it down with a single shot. Finally, he located the driver of the truck. He was lying over in the ditch. He had several broken bones and was unable to get up. The deputy ran over to him and said, “Are you OK?” The man said, “Never felt better!!!”
- Regrettably it has sometimes been true that “The Church is the only army In history that shoots its own wounded.”
-*v1 – notice: This is a person in the Church. Sin happens. Even a godly person is capable of choosing wrong. Otherwise, why would Paul say, “Watch out yourself, or you’ll have the same kind of problem!”
This person is guilty. “Caught” could mean “caught up in a sin” or it could mean “got caught” by someone. Either way, it’s speaking about someone who is guilty, and others know about it.
So what do we do? Extend grace. What did God do while we were still powerless, while we were still sinners, while we were without hope, without God, alone in the world; while you were a prodigal son, a runaway who turned his back on the Father? Extended grace. He extended grace. So should you.
I’m tired, along with a lot of you, at the overuse of the word “tolerance” in our current culture. We’re supposed to have ‘tolerance’ of people who look different, who think different, who live different, even if we find their choices to be immoral.
Well, that’s wrong. We’re supposed to do better than just be “tolerant.” We’re supposed to extend grace.
-Tolerance looks at the person with egg on his face and just puts up with him. Grace looks at that person and says, “Here, let me help you. You have a spot there.”
-Tolerance looks at the Hispanic person who’s having trouble communicating in the store and waits until he’s gone without complaining. Grace approaches that person as someone who needs help and tries to meet his need.
-Tolerance says to the unmarried pregnant teenager, “Well, I won’t say you did anything wrong. Go ahead and choose what you want to do. It’s all about you having the freedom to choose what you want.” Grace says to her, “Yes, you’ve made a wrong choice, but I care about you and I realize you could use some help making better choices in the future. Let me tell you, there’s hope, and I’d like to help you see it.”