Grace: A Many Splendored Thing
by Charles R. Swindoll
We use grace to describe many things in life:
A well-coordinated athlete or dancer
Good manners and being considerate of others
Beautiful, well-chosen words
Consideration and care for other people
Various expressions of kindness and mercy
Those statements remind me of Christ. What a perfect illustration of grace! Think of several examples with me. He stood alongside a woman caught in adultery. The Law clearly stated, "Stone her." The grace killers who set her up demanded the same. Yet He said to those self-righteous Pharisees, "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone." What grace! Under the Law they had every legal right to bury her beneath the rocks in their hands . . . and they were ready. There they stood with self-righteous fire in their eyes, but He intervened in grace.
When His friend Lazarus died, Martha met Him on the road and Mary later faced Him in the house. Both blamed Him for not coming earlier: "If You had been here, my brother would not have died!" There is strong accusation in those words. He took them in grace. With the turn of His hand, He could have sent them to eternity; but He refused to answer them back in argument. That is grace.
When He told stories, grace was a favorite theme. He employed a gracious style in handling children. He spoke of the prodigal son in grace. As He told stories of people who were caught in helpless situations, grace abounded . . . as with the good Samaritan. And instead of extolling the religious official who spoke of how proud God must be to have him in His family, Christ smiled with favor on the unnamed sinner who said, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner." Even from the cross He refused to be angry toward His enemies. Remember His prayer? "Father, forgive them . . . " No resentment, no bitterness. Amazing, this grace! Remarkable, the freedom and release it brought. And it came in full force from the only One on earth who had unlimited power, the Son of God.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.