Today’s reading: Genesis, chapters 8-11
My focus on this portion of Scripture fell onto Genesis 8:21, which says,
…and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.
This verse is a very early example of God’s grace. He promised after flooding the world and wiping out every living thing save what was in the ark, that he would never do it again even though He already knew that evil would continue, that man is sinful from birth. And so, even though mankind doesn’t deserve His grace, God grants it.
I think this serves as a great reminder that we, though redeemed, must live in grace. We should remember that any good works and kind deeds that we may perform, do not come from us, but from the love of Jesus in us. I must rely more on God’s grace. I get snarly when people cut me off on the road and in line at the grocery store. Patience is a virtue and grace is a calling. We are called to be gracious and patient, as Jesus is.
Of course, we all think about how these people are just jerks and how they shouldn’t get away with it. Just this afternoon I was picking up a few groceries at Superstore. I was waiting in line at the self-serve checkout and I was next up for a free checkout counter. A lady was just finishing up with putting her bags in her cart when a man carrying a bag of 4 buns zipped out of the express aisle, that is beside the self-serve checkouts, and over to the free self-serve. I looked at the man who had been at the express aisle behind the budinsky and he shook his head at me as if to say, “I can’t believe he just did something so rude.”
What did I do?
I headed right over with my cart to that man at the free checkout that should have been mine and said, “Sir, I was next in line. The line is right over there.” He turned quickly and said to me, “Take it, take it.” I said a quick thanks in a less than thankful tone.
I’m sure some would say something like, “Good for you.” And I think for a moment I thought the same thing.
What should I have done?
I should have let the man check out his little bag of buns. Was it really a big deal? Of course not. Was it gracious? Not at all. I think Jesus would have not only let that man go ahead of Him, but He would have helped the man bring it to his car or at the very least called out a blessing to the man as he left.
I’m not saying at all that being gracious means letting people walk all over you. But you have to pick your battles. And this was not a battle. I was not in a hurry. I didn’t have the only food available for my kids in that cart and they hadn’t eaten in a week and so I needed to get the groceries home before the kids all starved. It was nothing like that. It was no big deal. Unfortunately, for many, this kind of thing is a battle or they allow it to become one. But they shouldn’t. It’s no big deal.
The sin of man, however, is a big deal to God and He grants us much more grace than we could ever deserve. So it certainly wouldn’t kill us to grant a teeny amount of grace for little things like that man in the Superstore. We just need to remember to keep in sync with the Father, who is the only supplier of grace there is.
Let’s pray, shall we?
God our Father, we thank you for grace; that you bestow it on us so freely and abundantly even though, like the people in Noah’s time, we don’t deserve it at all. Give us the grace we need for others and the will to give it as freely as you do. Thank you, Lord, for you love and grace. In Jesus name we pray, Amen
And so we wrap up day number 3. And remember,
Live in grace.
Tomorrow’s readings, Job, chapters 1-5