Knowing how much Stan likes blueberry pancakes, Ricky brought him an extra stack one morning. “Cook says he just opened a box of extra special blueberries and wants you to try these pancakes!”
“Thank you!” Stan replied. “And thank Cook for me, but I can’t eat that many regardless of how good they are!”
As he offered the plate to me, he said, “Here, take some,” and added, “I could probably force them all down, but what’s the point of doing that when I can share some with you?”
“Thanks, Stan,” I replied. “That’s very gracious of you.”
“Excellent choice of words,” he said. “For you, for me, and for all of us. Those words extend way beyond some blueberry pancakes!”
“Way beyond blueberry pancakes?” I said. “How so?”
“God pours out abundant grace into my life,” Stan replied. “The apostle Paul described it as being lavished with the grace of God. So the question that faces me continually is what am I supposed to do with the lavishness of that grace?”
“And the answer is what?”
“Share with others by being gracious to them. Why should I live the life I have been given to live with grace lavished all over me when God is constantly bringing people into my life who are desperately in need of grace?”
“Of course,” he continued, “I can’t provide the grace that God provides in the sense of the forgiveness of sins that can restore a person’s relationship with God, but I certainly can provide the grace of forgiveness, compassion, love, and a whole lot of other things people need.”
“I would guess,” I replied, “that by showing such grace to someone it might cause that person to wonder about your motivation and ask about it, which could lead to an eternal difference for them.”
“Good guess, my friend,” Stan said with a smile.
Bible verses to consider:
He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors Him. Proverbs 14:31.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished upon us. Ephesians 1:7-8.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.
And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32.
But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 1 John 3:17.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your grace and mercy in providing the way for me to spend eternity in your presence when it’s time. Thank you, too, for your gracious provision of the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus in an ever-deepening personal relationship before I step into eternity. I confess that too often I do not display grace to those people you bring before me, grace that will show them your grace and will honor you and possibly make a difference in their life and eternal destination. Please forgive me for not being the gracious person you intend. And please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead in being gracious just as you intend. 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 gracious and merciful provision so you know you will spend eternity in His presence when your time here is completed? If no, why? What’s standing in the way? If you do have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with being gracious to others on this side of eternity? If you sense the need to be a more gracious person in every aspect of your life, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?