Undeserved Mercy

"May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace." Ephesians 1:2 NLT

I was the recipient of a gift I didn't deserve and hadn't asked for. "I made God a promise I'd help the next person I knew whom he had called into ministry." He spoke those words, and then handed me an envelope. I was following God's call on my life which meant, in this case, leaving my job and moving somewhere I'd never been. And without any promise of work or income. Having a family to care for made the decision more difficult. When I got home, I tore into the envelope. A check for $1,000 fell out. I was the recipient of grace…undeserved mercy.

Paul's life before Christ had no peace, only religious zeal. Christians were different, and he was out to destroy as many as he could. He may have appeared happy and satisfied, but he wasn't. Christ met him while he was on one of his escapades and offered him grace. He accepted, and for the first time in his life he experienced peace.

Christ offered me grace the first time when I was nine years old. I jumped at the offer. He's offered grace daily since then, but the first time was the most monumental. This offer involved the chance to have my sins forgiven and the penalty for them erased. Accepting the offer restored me to a right relationship with God.

When grace came, peace followed. Now I didn't have to worry anymore about my present or future state. In the present, I had the assurance of his presence in my life to give me guidance in every circumstance. I also had the peace of knowing hell wasn't in my eternal future.

Later in Paul's life, God told him his grace would always be sufficient. And it was. It carried him through numerous unpleasant situations. God's grace does the same for me. When I lean on God in life's trying situations, I find his grace to be sufficient and calming.

Let God's grace assure you of forgiveness and give you peace in the midst of life's trials and tests.

Prayer: Father, we thank You for extending the grace of Your forgiveness and then giving us a peace that is beyond our comprehension.

Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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