by Donna Willard
Have you ever been given something you don’t deserve, something free and unmerited? A perfect example of this is God’s amazing grace. His grace is a free gift to anyone willing to unwrap the package. Many times, in the Bible, people were extended grace. Grace is compassion and mercy. Jonah, Peter, and Paul come to my mind when I think of grace.
Jonah ran from God and nearly lost his life in the belly of a whale. His life was spared. Peter, who became the rock of the church, denied Christ three times. Paul, a persecutor and murderer of Christians, became the author of many letters to the church.
These are just a few examples of God’s gift of grace. However, the best gift of grace was given to all of us. God gave His only son to die on a cross for all our sins—past, present, and future. I would have been lost without His grace.
Many years ago, I struggled with severe depression. I, like Elijah, wished for death and almost died after overdosing on pills. I thought I was a Christian. It was in name only. I knew the stories, the laws, and the right way to live. However, I did not know Jesus.
One night, I lie in bed with tears flowing down my cheeks. I asked God to reveal Himself to me in His word. I opened the Bible and came to Philippians 3:12-14. I saw in Scripture that my past could be forgiven, and I had hope for tomorrow. This was God’s message not only to Paul. It is for you and me, too. Friends, Jesus died for you and me. I just celebrated another Easter of Christ’s resurrection and new life for me.
Today, ask yourself about the many times God’s grace has been given to you. I thank God every day for His grace. My prayer is that His grace would be the example I follow and extend to others in my life and my ministry.
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind, but now I see” (John Newton, 1779).
© Donna Willard 2018