I just read a book that promised me God can make a masterpiece out of the mess of my life.
Grace: more than we deserve, greater than we imagine
By Max Lucado
Lucado used active, vibrant words and glorious pictures—from the Bible and from today—to tell of God’s grace to us and the wonder we can have by handing that grace on to those who hurt us.
God searches for us to give us grace. He sent his son to die for us because of his love. He loved and searched and died for us while we were still sinners and not interested in him. That’s aggressive grace.
Romans 5:8: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Max Lucado pointed out that grace is not just mercy. Mercy forgave the sin of the thief on the cross. Grace took him to Heaven that day. In the Old Testament book of Ruth, mercy met Ruth’s needs. Grace married her.
Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, touching the filthiest part of them, the job of the lowest slave. He washed Judas’ feet, as well as those of all the other disciples, who’d in some way disappointed him.
What a breath-stopping truth—he washes away my filthiness.
One of the pictures in Lucado’s book: An artist in Brazil made a piece of art which became famous, from a trash dump and pictures of the poor people who searched the dump to survive.
From the mess of David’s acts of adultery and murder, God brought the masterpiece of His Son.
Aggressive grace. Like wave upon wave crashing against the beach, never weakening, never running out. God doesn’t dispense grace with an eye dropper but with a fire hydrant. He pours grace into our lives like pouring from the ocean into a dixy cup. Generous, rich, lavish, cascading.
And he leads a dance of grace. What he gives to us we can then give to others.
Another picture—the story of a woman who forgave the young man who’d thrown a frozen turkey through her windshield, putting her in ICU, and bringing permanent damage to her face.
The lady said God gave her a second chance at life, and she wanted to do the same for the young man. She asked for a light sentence for him, held him in court as he sobbed, said she wanted the best for him.
Retaliation might feel good for a minute, but it’s a poor long-term comfort. This lady found the real comfort.
Ephesians 4: 32: Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
I see the inside of my heart, my thoughts and words and actions to others, and I want to weep for the ugliness so often there. As Paul said, who will rescue me?
Romans 7:24-25: What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Grace lets us into God’s family, but that’s not all. His grace helps us daily to live more like Jesus.
Romans 5:10” For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
I thank God that he can take the mess I’ve made of my life and, with his vibrant, aggressive grace, turn it into a masterpiece.
Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.