The crowd chants along with the family, “Move that bus! Move that bus!” The bus slowly pulls away, unveiling what has remained hidden. Screaming, tears, jumping, and hugging follow. The beautiful house that stands in place of the old represents not only a different place to live, but a new start. A fresh beginning. A second chance.
We love second chances. We love to hear the Cinderalla stories of people who were down on their luck but received a shot at a better life.
In Secondhand Jesus by Glenn Packiam, he says this:
In a way, that’s how many Christians view their salvation. We were down. We’d made some bad choices. But everyone does, right? Thankfully God kept believing in us, and gave us a second chance. Hallelujah! He’s the God of second chances! And that’s all we needed. We’re back on our feet now! Praise the Lord! Grace is a sort of canceling of debts and a fresh influx of capital to try the business venture one more time. It’s as if we say, Thank You for saving me, Lord. I’ll take it from here.
But grace is not just a second chance. If it were, it would not be that amazing, because no matter how hard we try or how many times we try, we cannot fully please God . . . The truth – and it is painful to admit – is that no matter how good we are, we will never be good enough to satisfy God’s holiness. And that doesn’t change even after becoming a Christian.
An interesting viewpoint on grace. I love the line, “But grace is not just a second chance.” As I ponder my view of grace, I realize I often reduce it to that. I limit the magnitude and the depth of his grace, and I make it all about me. My opportunity to do better. My reason for being a “good Christian.” Because he loves me.
Sin is heinous, and it separates us from God. Grace isn’t about getting a chance to prove to God that Jesus’s death was worth the cost. It’s about God doing for us what we could not because he is love. His story is one of redemption. Period.
Later, Packiam goes on to say, “Our response to God is not to try to repay or try to filter our behavior enough to become better. It is to surrender, completely and fully, out of love for Him.”
The response to his grace is love . . . relationship. When we let the reality of his grace permeate our lives and our souls, we don’t have to do anything; It changes us.
I don’t ponder grace very often, but I’ve been mulling it over since my friend LL invited me to do so. Now I see I need to spend more time meditating on the topic . . . because it changes everything.
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