An Encouraging Word

GRACE IS GREATER THAN YOU MAY IMAGINE

“Yeah, Jesus will forgive your sins, but don’t expect Him to give you a car.”

That was what the father of a young man I know told his teenage son one day during their visitation time.  Apparently the man had experienced so much hurt and disappointment in his life that he just didn’t believe Jesus was good for much more than a “get out of hell free” card.

People who live like that break my heart.  It’s as if they believe “Yes, God will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19), but don’t get crazy and expect Him to actually give you things you might enjoy.”

The problem is, when you try to limit the greatness of grace, your heart begins to call into question the goodness of God.

The unspoken understanding becomes, “Yes, God is good, but He’s a little stingy.”  A subliminal message sneaks in: “Ask God for what you need, but get ready to be disappointed.”  As a result, your passion for God grows dim, your love for Christ grows cool, and you start hedging your bets to keep from being hurt.

But that is not the Gospel!

The word “Gospel” means “good news,” and a God who demands everything from you but holds out on what He gives to you is not good news at all.

No, the Good News is that God loves His creation so fiercely that He poured Himself out fully to pursue us passionately, right up to and beyond the point of death on a cross.

The Good News is that “If God did not spare His own Son, but graciously gave Himself up for us, how much MORE will He graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32, emphasis added)

Now, that doesn’t mean that God will give you everything you want, or answer every prayer right away (“Dear Jesus, please send me a red Porche convertible and a new gaming console – stat”).  However, it does mean that He’s not only interested in your survival, but also your joy!

I wish I could have sat down and shared this with that father.

I wish I could have encouraged him that God’s grace really is that great.

I wish I could have seen his face when he found out that our church bought the boy’s mother a car!

Friend, may you embrace the reality that God is not a stingy landlord, but a kind and generous Father who doesn’t just love “people,” He loves you.

May Jesus bless you with joy today as you remember that His grace is greater than you may imagine.  And, may He bless you with peace in whatever circumstance you find yourself, because if you’re in Christ, then He is with you, and He is for you, too.

-Pastor Phillip