We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. – 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:1
Yesterday, I was discussing a lesson from Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
I would like to carry that on today. The grace of God is such a precious gift and with that gift comes empowerment and responsibility.
In Philippians 2:12, Paul tells us to walk out our salvation with fear and trembling.
When I was young, a family friend gave me a goose egg to hatch. I took care of the egg. I wrapped it in a towel and stored it safely in a shoe box. I placed a lamp over the egg to keep it nice and warm. The egg was a precious gift and I took great care so that the little gosling inside would hatch. Since I wanted the egg to hatch, I didn’t play hot potato with the egg.
I was entrusted with the egg with the intention and expectation that I would take care of the egg so that it would hatch and I would return the gosling to its owner. If, after I had received the egg, I would have left it outside in the cold and undefended, I would have taken the egg as if it meant nothing to me. If I had played catch using the egg as a ball, I would have let the farmer that entrusted me with the egg down; my word to him would have meant nothing.
Now, the grace of God is not as fragile as an egg; however, we should treat the gift of grace carefully. To put it another way, if someone went through a lot of trouble and great expense to give you an extravagant gift, would you throw the gift away?
Jesus, God Himself, chose to be born as a human baby. He chose to suffer cruelty beyond imagination to give you the precious gift of grace. He sacrificed everything at such a high cost to Himself. That should motivate us to live and act differently.
Meditating on the grace that God has given me has changed the way I see things and the things that I do. Knowing that I am a vessel in which the Holy Spirit of God dwells, I do not want to grieve Him.
It’s not about “religion,” it’s about relationship. For example, my bride and I like to watch movies together. It’s a great way for us to spend quality time together. Now, my bride is very sensitive to the sight of blood and gore. If I wanted to have quality time with my bride watching a movie, Saving Private Ryan would not be a wise movie choice.
If I want to maintain a close relationship with God, I should think about the things that I watch and where I go. I should be concerned with what grieves the Holy Spirit. What value is it for me to watch a movie that glorifies sin? What benefit is it for me if I told a crude joke, if the joke would offend the Holy Spirit?
I had received the egg as a gift for the purpose of hatching the gosling that was inside. In the same way, we are given grace as a gift for a purpose, that we might be the righteousness of God.
Moreover, He gives us the power and ability to live this out. He partners with us to live as we ought. We are not in this alone.
My friends, Jesus gave us a most excellent gift. Why would I want to take that gift that He has given me as nothing, as if Jesus’ death on the cross in my place meant absolutely nothing to me?