What Grace Looks Like



“Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more”

 
Romans 5:20

 

I am thoroughly enjoying studying through the book of Romans for our current teaching series. I can see why some of the greatest Christian thinkers hold the view that this book is the most life changing in the New Testament. Like Luther and Wesley, Spurgeon and more, have you considered that you aren’t as good at sinning as God is at forgiving? The questions we might want to consider is why do we try, and what are we attempting to accomplish by sinning against God? It was Charles Spurgeon who once said, “You cannot sin as much as God can forgive. If it comes down to a battle between sin and grace, you shall not be as bad as God shall be good.” The more we come to know God the more we want to know God. God is so secure of Himself He is patient with us much in the way the prodigal father was toward his wayward son. As the son was running as far away from his father as he possibly could get, the father never gave up hope that his youngest son would one day return home. The Father’s love for his youngest son kept him looking out for him each day as he prayerfully gazed towards the horizon. Some people focus on the failures of others to determine their actions where as God’s focus is always on His love which is greater than all our sins.  
 

From reading the story of the prodigal son we learn love has a powerful pull on our lives and when the prodigal reached his lowest point, the unchanging and unwavering love of his father began to flood his mind. One of my favorite pastors often says, “The most difficult thing to do in this life is to sin against love.” As this boy, broken by sin and failure came to his senses he determined to humble himself and head for home hoping that his father would consider making him one of his hired hands knowing the love and care his father provided for them. On the road home the prodigal son learned one of the most important life lessons any person could come to know. The distance back to God is never equal to the distance you ran from Him. It’s always shorter coming home because of love and grace and mercy…the Father ran!

 
Picture the scene. With the sons head hanging low in disgrace and his feet dragging in fatigue from prodigal living, working hard to prepare a speech for his father that he thought would soften the blow of hearing the words, “I told you so” that would surely be like salt in his already open wound. The prodigal son was taken by surprise when he lifted his head and in the distance saw his father coming towards him, proof again that the distance from God is not equal to the distance back to God as the father wasn’t walking, he was running towards his son with only one thing in mind. The father wanted to take his son in his arms and embrace him. All that mattered to the father was that this son of his who was dead, was alive and now home. Yes, loved one, as the apostle Paul has made perfectly clear, “where sin abounds grace does all the more.”  

 
Let me ask you a question. Do you feel far from God today? Does it seem like the distance back to Father is too great and that too much time has passed between you and the Lord? If so follow the example of the prodigal son who had gone as far away as humanly possible from his father’s care only to discover the distance back home wasn’t equal to the distance he traveled when he left. If prodigal living or just seeking to live life on your own terms hasn’t provided the results you had hoped and you feel empty and defeated, then stop and turn your heart towards home. You don’t have to grovel for God to receive you back home. No, its just the opposite loved one, for as soon as you take a step towards God you will discover for yourself that He is running towards you! Where sin abounds, grace does all the more. Its why Jesus came from heaven to earth, to reconcile us back to God, to make a way back, and welcome us when we get there and then throw a party to celebrate us when we do! That’s what makes grace so amazing!

 

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

 

John 3:17

 

I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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