Last night I was talking with one of my cousins on Instant Messenger, and I asked how she was doing. Instead of that normal lie-of-a-reply, "Good", she wrote this interesting answer:
"Not as good as I could be, but better than I deserve."
That made me start thinking. It is true, we are not always entirely "well"-- we may have physical pain, or a difficult family situation, or some emotional heartbreak, or tension with someone else. It can be easy to get caught up in dwelling on these things. It is also easy to try to cover them up and say we are well when we really are not.
What do we deserve? Do we deserve a bed of roses or perfect health? When I think about my sin, and what it did to my Saviour, I realize that I don't deserve the health I have, the wonderful church family that I have, the freedom that I have in this country, a room to myself... I don't even deserve to live. By my words and actions, by my very heart attitude, I have dishonoured my Creator and hurt my Saviour. I have rebelled against the One who gave me life-- surely I don't deserve life anymore.
But what is Grace?
It is God giving us what we do not deserve.
What did He give me?
He gave me Himself. He gave me salvation, by coming to this earth and living a perfect life, and then allowing Himself to be nailed to a cross and die in terrible agony... in my place... for me...so that I wouldn't have to die forever. He also rose again, giving me spiritual life in Him. He gave me His Holy Spirit to lead and guide me into all truth, and to give me power to live my new life for Him. He has given me His Word to show me His ways and His commands and His promises. He has given me a place in the body of Christ, so that I may encourage others in Him and be encouraged by others. He has given me talents and abilities to serve Him with. He has given me promises to be with me always. He has given me courage to face the impending days of danger. He has given me breath to breathe so that I might glorify Him before others on this earth. He has given me a home in Heaven where I may dwell with Him forever and praise Him in glorious perfection at last.
Those are only a few of the things He has given me, but thy are enough to show you that I fare far better than I deserve. Today I could be dead and in hell. But God loved me and gave me all these amazing blessings in Him. What an amazing, wonderful God we serve!
How are you doing today?