Hosea 2:19-20, 23, “And I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD.”
“And I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, And I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘[Thou art] my God!'”
Galatians 6:1-2, “Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; [each one] looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.”
But Not With Grace
On New Year’s Day, 1983, the Louisiana State Tigers played Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. Jerry Stovall, Louisiana State coach, had been chosen Southeast Conference Coach of the Year in guiding his Tigers to an 8-3-1 record in 1982. In December, 1983, the LSU Board of Supervisors ignored widespread fan and alumni protest and fired him. Just twelve weeks earlier they had given him a bonus – now they gave him the sack. So much for collegiate sports being merely for the thrill of competition! It’s win, tie, or be canned. This win complex subordinates the worth of individuals to the team’s record.
Christians can be grateful their Master treats them differently. He doesn’t order us out of the Kingdom if we have a bad day. God won’t fire us if we have a record of ten wins over temptations but three defeats. He won’t thumb us to the sidelines and out of the church when we run into a spiritual dry spell. And He will never disgustedly call for our resignation if we just can’t get a handle on a temptation, however zealously we try. With grace at work in our lives, Christ’s unique life compensates for our failures. He pays the difference between the little we can afford to pay and what Heaven costs to enter.
Courtesy of Speaker’s Sourcebook of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley copyright © 1995 by Word, Incorporated. Used by permission.
*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
It may not be an easy thing to live in sweet fellowship with everyone; but that is what the grace of God is for. – D.L. Moody
The trials of the Christian life you shall find heavy, but…grace will make them light. – Spurgeon
Grace comes into the soul, as the morning sun into the world; first a dawning; then a light; and at last the sun in his full and excellent brightness. – Adams
Grace has been defined, the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul. – Book of Common Prayer