Grace comes from the Lord with no restrictions

Published 5:30 am Sunday, July 23, 2023

In his book, “In the Heavenlies,” H. A. Ironside tells the story of an attempted assassination of Queen Elizabeth I.
The woman who sought to do so dressed as a male page and hid herself in the queen’s boudoir awaiting the convenient moment to stab the queen to death.
She did not realize that the queen’s attendants would be very careful to search the rooms before Her Majesty was permitted to retire.
They found the woman hidden among the gowns and brought her into the presence of the queen, taking from her the dagger she had hoped to plant in the heart of the sovereign.
She realized that, humanly speaking, her case was hopeless.
She threw herself down on her knees and begged the queen as a woman to have compassion on her, a woman, and to show her grace.
Queen Elizabeth looked at her coldly and quietly said, “If I show you grace, what promise will you make for the future?”
The woman looked up and said, “Grace that hath conditions, grace that is fettered by precautions, is not grace at all.”
Queen Elizabeth understood in a moment and said, “You are right. I pardon you by my grace.”
And they let her go, a free woman.
Some folks have a hard time understanding grace.
I think the reason is because there is so little of it in our world.
There are many people who won’t do something nice for another unless they are willing to repay the ‘favor’ in some way.
The old adage: “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” comes to mind.
The fact is, many people are shocked by sin, but really, they should be staggered by grace!
A. W. Tozer defined grace as “the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits on the undeserving.”
John Newton, author of the beloved hymn “Amazing Grace,” knew much about the grace of God.
A friend visited Newton in the later years of his life.
He read a portion of Scripture, including 1 Corinthians 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am.”
Newton then commented, “I am not what I ought to be.
How imperfect and deficient!
I am not what I wish to be.
I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good.
I am not what I hope to be.
Soon I shall put off mortality, all sin, and imperfection.
Yet though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, or what I hope to be.
I can truly say that I am not what I once was, a slave to sin and Satan; and I can heartily join with the apostle and acknowledge, ‘By the grace of God I am what I am.’”
God’s grace extends to us His mercy, love and forgiveness.
He doesn’t give grace to us because we deserve it or have earned it.
There is nothing we could do that would merit such grace.
But God gives it to us when we dedicate our lives to His Son, Jesus.
We receive forgiveness of our sin because He is forgiving.
We receive unconditional love because He is love.
We receive mercies that are new every morning because He is merciful.
My friend, you can experience the free pardon of God from all your sins through Jesus Christ with no strings attached. That is the true meaning of grace.
Have you asked Him for it yet?

Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.

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