I am not a big fan of receiving gifts. It’s not that I don’t like special things but I don’t like to receive a gift that I can’t immediately give one in return. Gifts make me feel uncomfortable for so many reasons but the biggest reason is I feel undeserving. Gift exchanges are ok but what I don’t really like is receiving a gift for no reason. Â It is hard to accept that someone would want to give something away for nothing. I find myself asking, ”What’s the catch?”
Last week, I won a gift bag at a local shop. I was very excited as I never win anything but as I went to claim my prize, my issues with gifts began to surface. Now I know this wasn’t just an unsolicited gift but a prize for being the winner but yet I didn’t earn the gift and gave nothing so it was undeserving. I graciously accepted the gift with a smile and thank you but I must admit there was that little voice inside saying, is there a catch?”
Gift giving occurs for many reasons but a gift given with a true heart is nothing more than grace in action. When we receive grace, we gain the pureness of another person. Grace is the richest thing one can give another yet it is the rarest gift we often see given. The undeserving gift of grace can easily overwhelm us but yet it is available to everyone on earth every day. Who of us deserves the praise and glory of salvation? Clearly none of us! Yet, we receive the riches of God’s resources without debt, for it is His gift of grace that makes it possible. His grace is difficult to understand, immeasurable, and overwhelming but more so is its difficulty to imitate by giving it to others.
Grace Meets Needs
In the 19th Century, Charles Spurgeon and Joseph Parker both held positions in churches in London. One-day Parker made a truthful comment about the poor condition of the children admitted to Spurgeon’s orphanage. This was quickly reported to Spurgeon but in a negative way making it seem as if Parker’s comment was in criticism of the orphanage itself. This made Spurgeon really mad and so the following week he blasted Parker from the pulpit.
The newspapers took notice of the attack and printed it for all to see. It wasn’t long before it was the talk of the town. People flocked to Parker’s church the next Sunday just to hear his rebuttal. ”I understand Dr. Spurgeon is not in his pulpit today, and this is the Sunday they use to take an offering for the orphanage. I suggest we take a love offering here instead.”
The crowd was immensely delighted and the ushers had to empty the collection plates three times. Later that week, Spurgeon stood humbly before Parker in his study. ”Parker; you have practiced grace on me. You have given me not what I deserved, you have given me what I needed.” (Angell, 1955)
Swinging on the Trapeze
How often do you receive what you need over what you deserve? How often do you give others what they need over what they deserve? God’s gift of grace is given to all even though undeserved. His incredible wealth of grace and kindness never ends. Every day humans continue to mess up yet He continues to give. Christ gave it all and therefore set the example before all humankind even though undeserved.
Life is much like a trapeze performance. All sorts of performers trying to successfully swing from one bar to another without falling to the unknown below. Some perform brilliantly without fear of falling because they fully trust and are aware of the safety net waiting when they slip. Others are clinching tightly to the bar in panic and full of fear for they can’t see the net that waits to save their life when they fall.
When you, as a believer, slip on the trapeze, the net of Christ is there to catch you. For it is His blood that provides forgiveness for all sins. Both the net and the ability to stay on the trapeze is God’s grace in action.
We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus. Acts 15:11 (NLT)
Practice in Action
It is important to recognize that God’s abundant grace is for all people even though the gift of grace is undeserving. The practice of giving grace to others is important because of the grace that Christ gives. This practice of grace in action helps you see God’s grace in your own life.
Practicing the action of grace sounds difficult because true grace goes to the undeserving. But grace is seen in many forms. A simple gesture of providing extra patience to someone is grace. Purposely trying to please God is grace. Obeying His law out of love and not fear is grace.
Recognizing the things that show you daily that God’s love is making a vast difference in you is the most important step in practicing the action of grace. Look for how God is working in you daily and then try to identify how many times you can see His work through you. He is showering you daily with His undeserving grace, let it show through your actions to others.
Take the grace challenge and keep a score of how God’s grace is working in and through you. Allow your conviction of His undeserving grace for all people to destroy judgmental tendencies of those you don’t understand or agree with. Be motivated to provide extra grace as you go through the day knowing that God is providing extra grace to you. Find the ultimate comfort in knowing that His incredible wealth of grace, kindness, and love never ends. For His grace is constantly and consistently flowing out to you even though it may be undeserving.
Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving. Its use to us sinful men is to save us and make us sit together in heavenly places to demonstrate to the ages the exceeding riches of God’s kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Credits Angell, C. (1955). Baskets of Silver. Nashville: Broadman Press.
What are your thoughts? Join the Discussion
Have you given grace away this week to the undeserving? Did you receive your daily dose of grace from Christ? Share your thoughts in the discussion on theÂ accepting and giving grace.