January 2, 2013
The Power of Grace
by Charles R. Swindoll
Candidly, I know of nothing that has the power to change us from within like the freedom that
comes through grace. It's so amazing it will change not only our hearts but also our faces. And
goodness knows, some of us are overdue for a face change! Were you reared by parents whose
faces said "No"? Or are you married to someone with a "No" face? If that is true, you envy those
who had "Yes"-face parents or are married to "Yes"-face mates. All of us are drawn to those
whose faces invite us in and urge us on.
During his days as president, Thomas Jefferson and a group of companions were traveling across
the country on horseback. They came to a river which had left its banks because of a recent
downpour. The swollen river had washed the bridge away. Each rider was forced to ford the river
on horseback, fighting for his life against the rapid currents. The very real possibility of death
threatened each rider, which caused a traveler who was not part of their group to step aside and
watch. After several had plunged in and made it to the other side, the stranger asked President
Jefferson if he would ferry him across the river. The president agreed without hesitation. The
man climbed on, and shortly thereafter the two of them made it safely to the other side. As the
stranger slid off the back of the saddle onto dry ground, one in the group asked him, "Tell me,
why did you select the president to ask this favor of?" The man was shocked, admitting he had
no idea it was the president who had helped him. "All I know," he said, "is that on some of your
faces was written the answer 'No,' and on some of them was the answer 'Yes.' His was a 'Yes'
Freedom gives people a "Yes" face. I am confident Jesus had a "Yes" face. I have never seen
Him, but I've determined from what I've read about Him that this was true. What a contrast He
must have been! He was surrounded by lettered men, religious, robed, righteous, law-quoting,
professional men whose very demeanor announced "NO!" Pious without, killers within . . . yet
none of their poison seeped into His life. On the contrary, He revolutionized the entire direction
of religion because He announced "Yes" while all His professional peers were frowning "No."
That has intrigued me for years. How could it be? What was it that kept Him from getting caught
in their grip? In one word, it was grace. He was so full of truth and grace, He left no inner space
for their legalistic poison.
Adapted by permission. The Grace Awakening Devotional, Charles R. Swindoll, © 2003, Thomas
Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Copying or using this material without written
permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited and in direct violation of copyright law.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.