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How much Grace do you extend?
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How much grace do you extend to others?
If someone were to ask another about you. What do you think their response would be?
Would they say that you are a person who extends the grace of God? Who reaches out with their heart to others? Or would they say that unfortunately you do not?
...Or would they just be polite and keep silent?
You know as believers we need to often, "check ourselves". We need to stop and ask ourselves, "am I really extending the grace of God to those who need it?"
Or am I being like the pharisees? Only seeing the fault in others:
 "Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”
                          (John 8:3-5 NKJV)
When others are wrong. Or they appear to do something wrong. Are you quick to want to pronounce judgment on them? Or do you extend the hand of grace?
You see none of us are immune to sin. We all have sin in our lives. To say otherwise would just be plain lying (1 John 1:8)!
And we must remember this. That it is God's grace that liberates us from our sin condition for eternity. It is His gift to us. Through His Son Jesus:
 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,"
                     (Ephesians 2:8 NKJV)
We can never take credit for it!
 "not of works, lest anyone should boast."
            (Ephesians 2:9 NKJV)
But yet as believers we seem to get this "crazy idea" that we have achieved some kind of "greatness", Or "sin-less state"! Forgetting that only God could liberate us from our sin! ...From ourselves!!
We begin to walk around like we ,"have it all together". But if we were honest? We really do not! Do we?
It's so amazing how it is easy for us to look down at others. Pick their faults apart! But yet we never seem to see our own?
And did Jesus not speak to us about this?
 "And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."
                      (Matthew 7:3-5 NKJV)
But yet we seem to forget this! As often as the, "sun goes up and comes back down".
And just how would we feel if others did not extend the hand of grace to us?
Probably pretty awful I imagine!
Now, this does not mean that we do not call sin, "sin". Biblical discipline should absolutely be excercised when needed! But it should always be tempered in the right spirit and in love.
And it should always be done with the hope that the party comes back to the Lord. That the person would be encouraged (2 Corinthians 2:7-8). Now, of course this would be completely getting into another subject (church discipline Matthew 18:15-17). But what we are talking about here is this. Do you really extend God's loving grace to others?
You see there are many out there who do not!
Im sure, if you were to think about it. You could probably think of those. Who have been burned by "well meaning" christians. Perhaps, you have even done the burning? Or had it done to you at some time in the past? And it's pretty hurtful and "uncomforting" isn't it? And it has kept many from ever wanting to know more about church! God!! Or His people!!!
You see we need to really think on this one. How good are we at extending God's grace to others?
If others were asked. Would they say that you are a good picture of extending God's loving grace? Or would they say that you are anything, but gracious?
Only you. And your Father above, know the answer to this question!
Remember, it was God's love that covered our sin:
 "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
                     (Romans 5:6-8 NKJV)
And since we know this to be true. Then what is our response? To those who need His loving grace extended to them! Especially in their desperate hour of need?
Afterall, the Lord extended His hand of grace to us through Jesus. When we did not even deserve it! So what is our repsonse to those who need it also?
Think about this!
 "Hatred stirs up strife,
        But love covers all sins."
       (Proverbs 10:12 NKJV)
Just a "little" (but very important) thing to think about!

Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
Any questions, comments, prayer requests?

POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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