I love the library…….usually readers do!! I have plenty to read at home right off my own shelf in my office, but I still love to go to the library and look to see if I am missing anything good. Recently I had taken some books out and renewed one in particular.
This particular book was laying on my nightstand (not the one in the picture above) for a bit and I happened to look again to see when it was due. And low and behold it was a day past the due date! I usually don’t miss due dates, so I jumped in the car to take the book back. The library is so close now to my new home.
I’m using a different library from the one I used when we first moved to AZ and I wasn’t sure about the fees, although it said on my ticket that it was a dollar a day. I was completely prepared to pay the fee, but when the woman at the front desk checked my account, she said, “you’re all good, you have a grace period.” My dollar could stay in my pocket!
For some reason when I left the library, I felt so good about it! It wasn’t really about the money, it was about the unexpected grace period. A day of grace. A day that my neglecting of my obligation to the library was……. forgiven. My steps leaving that morning were a little lighter because a small weight had been lifted. And isn’t that how grace is?
ALL IS GRACE AND ALL GRACE IS A GIFT!
Philip Yancey in his book entitled: “What’s so Amazing about Grace” says on pages 70-71……..
GRACE means that GOD already loves us as much as an infinite GOD can possibly love. And grace means there is nothing I can do to make GOD love me more, and nothing I can do to make GOD love me less. It means that I, even I who deserve the opposite, am invited to take my place at the table in GOD’S family.
A table of grace! GOD’S grace is so pure and so perfect and so unconditional. If we all know that and understand with our head and heart, how can we not be a people of grace as well?
OUR WORLD NEEDS MORE GRACE RIGHT NOW.
As Christians we need to be the ones to extend grace……to anyone who crosses our path, every day and in every way. Can you be the one who listens more, who cares more, who loves more and who gives your fellow human beings a break?
YOUR FELLOW MAN CARRIES A WEIGHT THAT CAN BE LIFTED BY YOUR GRACE.
So what does that require of us? It’s really not that hard; it’s very simple…….
THE WORLD RUNS BY UNGRACE, INSTEAD GIVE IT…….. AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
You see, if my GOD extends grace to me every single day of my life, a lifelong gift, then how can I NOT give it to people around me? I’m saying to extend grace to your world. Because the world doesn’t know what grace is, never has and never will.
Extending grace doesn’t come naturally, we don’t want to extend it, because we are so full of ourselves. It’s the me first mentality. What about seeing others better than yourself? The Bible talks about it…….
PHILIPPIANS 2:3 “DO NOTHING OUT OF SELFISH AMBITION OR VAIN CONCEIT, BUT IN HUMILITY CONSIDER OTHERS BETTER THAN YOURSELVES.”
That’s exactly what grace does, it sees. It looks others in the eye and says, yes I see you, and I give you grace.
Isn’t that what the GOD of grace did when HE walked the earth? JESUS saw others, HE looked them in the eye and said: “I see you. I see you as you are, faults and all and I still love you.” HIS grace was holy and righteous, but most of all it was unlimited…….infinite. That’s the kind of grace HE gives us every day in every way. His gift of grace was HIS dying on the Cross for our sins……HIS wonderful…….gift. HE paid the price for us.
Since we are reservoirs of HIS grace, let us pour that grace out on the world around us…….it needs it now more than ever! The world is getting darker and a gift of grace is light in that darkness. You just might touch someone’s soul like never before!
EPHESIANS 3: 7-9 “I BECAME A SERVANT OF THIS GOSPEL BY THE GIFT OF GOD’S GRACE GIVEN ME THROUGH THE WORKING OF HIS POWER. ALTHOUGH I AM LESS THAN THE LEAST OF ALL GOD’S PEOPLE, THIS GRACE WAS GIVEN ME: TO PREACH TO THE GENTILES THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST AND TO MAKE PLAIN TO EVERYONE THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS MYSTERY.”