I have to admit I never fully understood grace. Amazing or otherwise. I saw someone pass on with cancer, but I was blessed to hear him ask forgiveness and recieve Jesus first. He wasn’t even that old. I was still growing in grace then, because I wondered about his life, the things I’d heard, how it was that he was accepted so easily, when I was struggling with my own answers to prayer. I remember thinking, ” How can the Lord just forgive so easily, such sinners? ” A whisper came over my heart, “Would you rather, he goes to hell? ” ” No! Of course not! ” I would not want to happen to anyone.
Still growing, I prayed for the Holy Spirit not to leave me. I had never been taught about spiritual gifts. I knew there were people who talked about once saved always saved, while I saw ” Christians “, doing things they should have known better than. You know the kind of people I mean. What I didn’t know that these people were under grace, and falling short of it. Or that some who profess just simply aren’t believers at all. I saw people with the jailhouse Jesus experience, like He’ll get you out, but be right back in.
I simply didn’t even understand back then that still there are believers and pretenders, you have to discern. Some will talk Christ, but would you let them pray for you, when they are only saying what they think you want to hear? Grace, some have accepted Him and fall back into enemy territory, not grown up in Him. We all learn and grow at different paces, and must work out our own salvation, it’s deeply personal.
By the time I reached my thirties I had matured and taught Bible studies to children, and even later on, women. You can see how fickle some children are, one day they love you but challenge their misbehavings and you are crossed off the list. That’s the way the children of God can be. If they don’t want to obey something, out goes the word. Are they under grace, yes, Jesus is generous.
I have to admit, I have witnessed some things. How are some still managing to get around situations? The answer is grace, God is stll drawing them, and well, I don’t want them in hell or even jail athough I know some who have escaped by someone’s intercessory prayer alone. He has plans for everyone, but it is up to them to follow. I have seen the grace extended only so far, if you continue it sin it has consequences, costly and even deadly ones. God’s grace remains there, until you draw and breathe the very last breath He is that merciful.
I pray over those death row executions, I remember one in particular, it was somber as the newsman reported it. He didn’t announce that the man gave His heart to Christ and said He was sorry, I don’t even recall if there were any last words or more of the smug entitlement of being a hero or martyr. But I extended it . I have prayed over these and over some taken off life support. And I know how good Jesus and how deep His sacrifice was, and it covers multitudes of sin if a heart truly repents. I would not wait until the last minute.
As you grow in grace and understand it, you will know it is not cheap, a pass on sinning, it cost Jesus dearly, and He knows who is and is not sincere and will allow the Holy Spirit to help us discern. I remember counseling someone, even though I would have made a different choice, a Biblically correct one, I was talking grace. If jesus sacrificed Hiself and chooses to forgive and keep watch over a believer with a sincere heart who has stumbled, how can I say otherwise. I don’t out rank Him. I didn’t die to save people.
Remember as you grow in grace you will be able to extend it to others, you will find it easier to forgive. You can learn a lot from your children. You can be angry one day and at te park the next because they are your children, and you love them. How much more did He love is by choosing us and adopting us?
That should make us feel special but not boastful only of Him. He had loved us and granted us access to a loving Father, and accepted us as the beloved, now we as His own dear children are to recieve grace upon grace and walk in it and extend it to others. Rebecca Jones