Yesterday we were reminded about the solemnness of Jesus’ death on the cross. Many of us have heard the story of His death and resurrection so often we have become immune to the pain and suffering caused by our sin. We often skip the suffering and focus on the resurrection. But what is the resurrection without the suffering? Can we really experience the depth of His grace without first experiencing the pain of our sin that caused us to need it so desperately?
Ephesians 2:8-9 Paul says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Some of us live our lives as if we deserve to be God’s children. We compare ourselves to others and we see that we are not as good as some but certainly better than others. We make the mistake of thinking that because we’re better than some, we don’t require as much grace and mercy from God as those whose lives are a complete mess and who are living in outward rebellion against God. That is a false mindset that inhibits our ability to fully experience and realize the value of God’s grace in our lives. It prevents us from seeing our need and embracing the value of the gift we have received.
For those of us who believe we’re “not that bad,” receiving God’s grace is like receiving a coin as a gift. You believe it has value and you hold onto it, but you toss it to the side and don’t spend much time thinking about it. After all, you’ve earned so much more than that anyway. Instead of seeing the value of this coin, you rely on the value of the other things you’ve worked for and earned yourself, the things that seem so much more valuable here in this life. But what if that coin is actually priceless? What if that coin is the rarest, most valuable coin in the world and you’re treating it as if it’s cheap, everyday, and ordinary?
Grace is that coin. It’s the gift that gives us access to the throne room of the Father. It’s the gift that allows us to be heard by God in prayer and to hear Him responding to us. Grace is unmerited, undeserved, mercy that is shown to us. Grace is what is required for us to be in a relationship with a Holy, sinless God. There is nothing more needed, more important than for us to receive the gift of God’s grace. But when we forget its value, we toss it to the side like it’s no big deal. We take it for granted and forget how much we need it to survive. In your hand today is the most priceless gift, the gift of forgiveness through God’s grace. Will you cherish it and give thanks for it daily? Will you value it because you realize what it’s worth?