“I stopped over at Bob’s Bakery yesterday afternoon for a quick snack and a cup of coffee,” Stan began.
“How was it?” I asked.
“Not so quick,” Stan replied. “While I was standing in line waiting to pay, there was a fellow in front of me who was having trouble paying for what he ordered.”
“He had a whole handful of change and it took him a long time to count it out. When he got to the end of his change, he was short of what he needed. He counted it again and he was still short.”
Continuing, he said, “So I handed him a couple of dollars to help pay for what he had ordered.”
“Well,” I replied, “that was nice of you.”
“Maybe,” Stan said. “It was actually more that I was in a hurry. But, as God is apt to do, in my time with Him this morning He brought to mind what happened and showed me something for my faith walk.”
“Not coming up short.”
“Short of what? Money?”
“No,” he replied. “Not coming up short of God’s grace. And, it sees to me, there are two different ways to look at what I was reading in the Bible.”
“Different in the sense of being contradictory?” I asked.
“No,” he replied, “different in the sense of providing two ways to look at something very good and very important.”
“Where were you looking?” I asked.
“The letter to the Hebrews. At one point in the letter, the writer says that I’m not to come short of God’s grace.”
“How are there two ways to look at that?”
“In the first instance,” Stan replied, “I am redeemed by the grace of God through the finished work of Christ Jesus on the cross. So from that standpoint, I have not come up short of God’s grace because I have accepted it and I am ready to step into eternity when it’s time.”
“What about the second view?”
“To me,” he replied, “this verse can also be read as saying that I am to manifest the grace of God in my life while I remain on this side of eternity.”
“But you’re not and can’t be God,” I replied.
“You’re right about that, my friend,” Stan said, “but there’s a whole lot of difference between being God and manifesting Him. As I choose, I can manifest Him. As well, I think that’s one of the big reasons that God has given me the Holy Spirit, so I will manifest God and His grace in who I am and in what I do while I’m on this side of eternity.”
“While you wait for the train,” I responded with a smile.
“That’s right, my friend,” he replied. “I have accepted God’s grace and I am to manifest it. I don’t want to come up short of God’s grace in any way, shape, or form!”
Bible verses to consider:
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God. Hebrews 12:15.
We also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 Corinthians 6:1.
Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. Hebrews 6:1.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that through your grace you granted me the opportunity to accept your free gift of spending eternity in your presence when it’s time. Thank you that through my acceptance of Jesus’ finished work on the cross I have not come short of accepting your grace. Thank you, too, that you want me to manifest your grace in my life while you keep me on this side of eternity, and that you have provided the way through the Holy Spirit. I confess that too often I do not display or manifest your grace in the ways you intend. Please forgive my selfishness. Help me in following your lead so I do not come short of manifesting your grace. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious gift of being able to spend eternity in His presence? If not, why? If you have the assurance of salvation, do you believe you are to display God’s grace while you remain on this side of eternity? Why or why not? How are you doing with that? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If not, do you know how you can do that?