“You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. It’s not something you did that you can be proud of“. ~Ephesians 2:8-9
There is a story I read the other day that describes grace.
Former U.S. President Richard Nixon is infamous for his place at the center of the Water gate scandal.
He disgraced both the office of the President of the United States and the United States itself in the eyes of the world.
When Hubert Humphrey, a former U.S. vice-president died, Nixon attended his funeral. Dignitaries came from all over the country and the world, yet Nixon was made to feel decidedly unwelcome.
People turned their eyes away and conversations ran dry around him. Nixon could feel the ostracism being ladled out to him.
Then Jimmy Carter, the serving U.S. President, walked into the room.
Carter was from a different political party to Nixon and well known for his honesty and integrity. As he moved to his seat President Carter noticed Nixon standing all alone. Carter immediately changed course, walked over to Nixon, held out his hand, and smiling genuinely and broadly embraced Nixon and said “Welcome home, Mr. President! Welcome home!”
The incident was reported by Newsweek magazine, which wrote: “If there was a turning point in Nixon’s long ordeal in the wilderness, it was that moment and that gesture of love and compassion.”
Carter gifted Nixon with love and compassion. Nixon had done nothing to deserve it. It was an act of pure grace on Carter’s part.
When the Bible speaks of God’s blessing it speaks in exactly the same way. Blessing is never a reward for good behavior. It’s a gift, a gift of pure, unadulterated grace.
Outrageous grace isn’t a favor you can achieve by being good; it’s the gift you receive by being God’s.
Outrageous grace is God’s goodness that comes looking for you when you have nothing to offer in return.
During this Lenten season, I ask of you to practice outrageous grace that was expressed FIRST by our Lord and Savior.
“It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to Love.”…….. Billy Graham
Remember; God loves you, and so do I.