Do You Need More Grace?

Jen’s Gem:  Open your heart to God’s grace.

Last night as I lay in bed, I was trying to recall the prayer my family said before each meal. I must’ve heard these words thousands of times over the course of my life. As sleep finally took over, most of them came to my mind.

“Bless us, Oh Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.”

My prayer before meals is a bit different these days, but I can’t help but be grateful for my parents instilling the importance of giving thanks to God for all He provided.

Grace. A little word, but it is jam packed with meaning. At minimum it refers to a blessing said before meals. On the opposite end of the spectrum, it refers to the many gifts God gives, the unconditional love He bestows on us, and forgiveness of all of the dumb stuff we do. Without it, we are sunk. With it, we can soar.

This week, I had to call upon a plumber to address a heating issue in my condo. The outdated control mechanism that turns on my heat was broken…again. A teensy, tiny little pin gets stuck if the control valve is not turned on periodically. Since I rarely, if ever turn on my heat, you can see why Mr. Pin was stuck.

I knew this house call would cost a lot of money. I also knew that it would take less than five minutes to fix. As I closed out the conversation with the rep, I made one request:

“This is soooo not in my budget right now. I would be so grateful if you could extend a little grace.”

The young man who fixed the antiquated contraption was beyond pleasant, giving me tips to prevent this from happening again. As he was preparing the bill, he noted that I must really be liked by the rep because he was instructed not to charge me full price. Waaahhh Hoooo!

That’s grace. I did nothing to deserve it, but I was the happy recipient of it. There’s an acronym that is often associated with the word grace:

God’s Riches AChrist’s Expense.

Because of Jesus, we get to partake of God’s grace, and this is not just for reduced plumbing bills, but for something far greater – eternity in heaven. All we need to do to receive it is to believe Jesus is who He says He is: the Son of God, who died to forgive our sins and then rose from the dead.

“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10 NKJV)

I’m grateful for the grace of the plumbing company. I’m grateful for the food that will be on my family’s Thanksgiving table in a few days. I’m grateful for the many material things God has blessed me with this year, friends who I cherish, a church that I love. So much!

Yet it pales in comparison to the grace of God. I think the apostle Paul summed it up perfectly:

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8 ESV)

I wish you and your loved ones a very happy Thanksgiving. As you count your blessings, I hope that you will offer up a prayer of thanks to God for His Son who opened the valve of God’s grace.

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