"There has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11 NASB, emphasis mine). An angel spoke these words. Shepherds heard them first. But what the angel said to them, God says to anyone who will listen. 'There has been born for you...' Jesus is the gift. Does He build a bridge and command you to cross it [for this gift]?" (p.150) No, He builds the bridge, crosses the bridge Himself, offers Himself, and if accepted by you - places you on His shoulders and carries you back across into His kingdom, blessing you all-the-while.
Like I, or others, have said in previous blogs - "This is the gift that God gives. A grace that grants us first the power to receive love and then the power to give it. More verb than noun, more present tense than past tense, grace didn't just happen; it happens." (p.150)
Interesting what happens when you listen. I was given the opportunity recently to operate in Grace. While returning to my car from eating lunch at a local fast food establishment, I found a F-250 pick-up truck parked so close to my long-doored Mustang that there was no way I was getting in. And I was not crawling in from the passenger side. So, off I went back into the restaurant. The Holy Spirit immediately had me profiling for someone that might look construction worker oriented because on the side of the truck it read such-in-such Home Improvement. I ended up walking right to their table. They were not wearing uniforms, so I politely asked if they knew who the driver of the Home Improvement truck was and one of the four gents sitting there confessed. He said, "Are you the guy with the black Mustang that I blocked in?" I said, "That would be me." He apologized and said, "Let me take care of that right now."
While heading out the door, he gave me all kinds of excuses, but all I heard was the Holy Spirit saying, "Keep quiet, he is doing his part, show favor, show Grace." So, I did. No confrontation. I was in my car and headed back to work within seconds.
"Grace. Let it, let him, so seep into the crusty cracks of your life that everything softens. Then let it, let him, bubble to the surface, like a spring in the Sahara, in the words of kindness and deeds of generosity. God will change you, my friend. You are a trophy of his kindness, a partaker of his mission. Not perfect by any means but closer to perfection than you've ever been. Steadily stronger, gradually better, certainly closer." (p.151)
"Though the work of Christ is finished for the sinner, it is not yet finished in the sinner." - Donald G. Bloesch
"I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us." - Anne Lamott
Quotes: Grace, Max Lucado