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November 18 – God’s Grace and Glory

It’s perhaps one of the oldest driving jokes there is. The wife, not recognizing where they are as the roads pass by asks the husband, “where are you going?” He replies, “I don’t know, but we’re making good time.” Some of us have the ability to find that silver lining in every cloud. All I can say is that I’m glad we have GPS units now. Whether a separate unit or the unit on your phone, you can tell the GPS unit where you want to go, and it will give you directions, an estimated time of arrival, and often the speed you’re traveling. Sometimes, if you’re not making good time, it will give you alternative routes. As long as the GPS unit is working right, there’s no excuse for anyone to get lost while driving anymore.

I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the Israelites had used a GPS unit on their Exodus journey. They could have punched the right button and it would have told them not to make the golden calf because Moses was coming back. Either that or, as they wandered in the desert, they would have heard the word “recalculating” a lot. Still, God spoke to His people before GPS units and He pointed them in the right direction. Peter talked about the message of the prophets that foretold the coming of the Messiah and our opportunity for salvation. “Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow.” (1 Peter 1:10-11 NIV)

Through the ages, beginning in Genesis, God spoke through His prophets to let His people know that a Messiah was coming. One of the problems that many people have with the Old Testament is that they claim that it focuses on the Law. Many Christians discount the Old Testament because of that. Peter points out that these prophets spoke not of Law, but of the grace of God, the grace that was to come. They didn’t know how God was going to do this; they didn’t know when He was going to do this; all they knew was THAT He was going to do this. They even predicted the suffering of the Messiah, although many discounted that part because, well, suffering just isn’t fun and they couldn’t imagine God’s chosen one having to suffer – especially for us. They knew that God’s grace was coming, though, and continued to proclaim God’s message of grace even as the children of Israel strayed from living in God’s love.

Now we know. The Spirit of Christ predicted the suffering of the Messiah, and He suffered and died on the cross to bring us forgiveness for our sins. We know the time. We know the place. We know the effect. There’s no excuse for anyone to be separated from God and lost anymore. Oh, I’ve heard people say that they aren’t good enough for God, or find some other way of saying that God couldn’t love them. That’s why it’s important that when we share the good news of Jesus Christ we emphasize the grace of God. God doesn’t love us because we’re better than others. Jesus didn’t die for people who were good enough for God – if they were good enough for God, He wouldn’t have needed to die for them. Paul reminded his readers in a them that Peter echoes here: Christ Jesus came to save sinners, of whom I am chief. The truth, all of the history of God’s people pointed to that time on the cross when the Messiah, Jesus, suffered and died on the cross. And all of history since then is a reminder of His glory, and the glory we experience now in our walk with God reveals that there is a greater glory to follow. It all begins with accepting the grace that God offers in Jesus Christ: grace that is offered to everyone.

Lord, let me experience Your grace and Your glory more and more each day. As I experience them, let me share them with others as well.


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