Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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The Graciousness of God’s Grace

Meditation for the week of March 21, 2010

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.

Nearly two thousand years ago a baby was born in Bethlehem to Mary who had never been married nor had she been immoral.  The baby was called Jesus because he would save His people from their sins.  This baby grew to manhood and proved that He was the Son of God as well as the Son of Man.  He was rejected by His people and died on a cross.  While on that cross He cried, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do (Luke 23:34)."  He was the grace of God that brings salvation and He has appeared to all men.

Grace is favor that is freely offered.  Grace often expresses the love of the person offering it to the person receiving it.  It is not earned nor deserved.  It is a gift.  Grace can be manifested by showing mercy or by pardoning someone.  But grace is not the norm in this world.  In this world we have wars, we believe in defending ourselves, and we talk about getting all that we deserve.  We are in an economic system that encourages greed and we call it competition.  Our political system, which is the best humans can offer, is still a self-centered system that is filled with corruption.  When we see someone who manifests grace in their lives, we tend to notice that person because grace makes them very attractive and quite different.

The grace of God has appeared to all men.  While the Lord was born in Bethlehem, His appearance was not designed to be just for Jews.  He offers Himself to Jews and Gentiles (non-jews), rich and poor, rulers and servants, male and female.  He appeared to provide salvation for all men.  Many argue that not all men have heard about Him so He hasn’t appeared to all men.  But I do know that those who seek Him find Him even if they are from “darkest Africa.”  In Acts 8 the Ethiopian Eunuch who was from Africa was searching for the Lord and went to Jerusalem to find Him.  The Lord gave Him the scroll of Isaiah and then sent him an evangelist while he was traveling back home.  He was reading Isaiah 53 from the scroll when Philip the evangelist found him, and Philip was given the privilege of explaining Isaiah 53 to him.  This man became a recipient of the grace of God and he was from “darkest Africa.”

I am so glad that I was born in new testament times rather than in old testament times.  In the old testament, there seems to be an emphasis on God’s righteous judgment of sin rather than upon His grace.  Yet because the Israelites so often were unfaithful and because men seemed to be so wicked, when God’s grace was shown, it was so undeserved that it glows like a perfect diamond on a black velvet cloth.  Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8).  I suspect this is saying that He had trusted in Jehovah and had received grace because of it.  Joseph realized that he was sent to Egypt by brothers who hated him in order to be a deliverer for His family.  He saved them when he could have destroyed them (Genesis 45:8, 50:20).  Rahab the prostitute was shown favor because she believed God and hid the messengers sent as spies when Jericho was to be destroyed (Joshua 6:25).  She didn’t deserve the grace shown to her even though her faith was evidenced by what she did. 

Ruth, in the book of Ruth, is another of example of God’s grace.  Moab was a descendent of Lot by incest and Ruth was a Moabitess so she had the wrong father (Genesis 19:37).  She symbolizes us.  We are born in sin and we need to be born again.  Moabites were traditionally the enemies of Israel.  When she embraced the God she learned about through her mother-in-law, she is shown grace or favor in the land of Israel.  One of the most remarkable verses in the Bible is found in Ruth 2 when Boaz takes an interest in her.  She says in verse 10, "Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?"  God gave her the privilege of being King David’s great-grandmother.

Grace is like the scent of lilacs in the spring.  It is like the first robin that appears after a long winter.  It is like a cool breeze on a hot night.  It is that drink of cold water on a hot day.  It is the voice of a friend telling you that they love you.  It is refreshing. 

None of us who are saved have any reason to be proud.  We are only sinners saved by grace.  We are not special people who deserve to be saved, but salvation makes us special in God’s eyes because we have believed in His Son and have become recipients of His grace.

Bruce Collins

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