A couple weekends ago I started serving in the Outreach Ministry. By nature I’m an introvert so you can imagine how difficult taking this leap of faith for me was, but stronger was my desire to reach people and share my faith as God commanded. (Matt 28:16-20) Well, during this last particular day of Outreach we chose to just walk the sidewalks in a strip mall and just bless people with a bag of assorted candy, invite them to church, or even pray with them about a need if they desired. But, you wouldn’t believe the amount of people who had a hard time with the fact that we were just giving them something without wanting anything in return.
I would get responses like, “I don’t have any money” or “how much does it cost?” My response would be, ” I just want to bless you with some candy, there’s no cost.” Many just had a hard time believing that I just wanted to give and not receive. Some people I had to actually convince. It became work just trying to give. It was kind of funny. But honestly I probably would have had a similar reaction and asked, “what’s the catch” if the roles were switched, so it didn’t bother me too much. Although I did realize from this experience we as people have a problem receiving. Could it be because we live in a society that’s ME ME ME focused or that we just don’t give without expecting something in return? Or could it be because we just aren’t used to giving so how can we be used to receiving? I don’t know. Thinking about all the possible scenarios made my brain hurt. But it got me thinking about the gift of grace and imagining how Jesus must feel with us sometimes. He has this gift of grace just waiting on us to receive it, He literally died so we could have it, and what do we do, we just look at Him bug-eyed wondering what we have to do to earn it. And His reply is always the same, “Its yours if you accept it.”
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Grace by definition is undeserved, unmerited favor. So no, we don’t deserve it. No, we can’t earn it; but that’s the beauty in it. He’s willing to give it to us anyway! How many times have you left Jesus standing there with the gift of grace? How many times have you slammed the door in His face and rejected Him? I know I’m guilty of having done that more times than I can remember and boy does that hurt me to the core. But our gracious and loving Father still stands there waiting for us to invite Him in our hearts. O’ what a God we serve!
I know in my own life as I began to understand what God’s grace is and have accepted it, the weight of feeling like I had to be the “perfect Christian” or I had to work for my salvation has left me, because I now know for myself “His grace is sufficient.” (2 Cor 12:9-10) Where I am weak, He is strong!
Today, if this is you, if you have Jesus standing at the door holding your gift of grace, I encourage you to let Him in today AND RECEIVE IT! He died just so you could have it, so imagine how much its worth having.
Be Blessed Loved Ones, and RECEIVE RECEIVE RECEIVE!