Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Souvenir

“Grace is Christianity’s best gift to the world, a spiritual nova in our midst exerting a force stronger than vengeance, stronger than racism, stronger than hate. Sadly, to a world desperate for this grace the church sometimes presents one more form of ungrace.” by Philip Yancey What’s So Amazing About Grace?

I hate to start with a disagreement but I have to. Grace is not Christianity’s gift to the world. Grace is God’s best gift to the world. It is something that the church and Christians need to practice but as far as the gift, that’s God’s best souvenir. It is what He brought to us when Christ visited earth.
Occasionally when I travel I like to pick up souvenirs along the way because its fun and I may never go there again so I better get them while I can. They may collect dust on my shelf at home but by golly molly I have my souvenirs. A cow from Texas, a necklace, from Hawaii, a domino from Las Vegas, a T-shirt from Disneyland, a cable car magnet from San Francisco.  

Too often we treat God’s grace that same way. We grab it while its there only to take it home and place it on the shelf to collect dust. Grace is our gift to use and practice. It should never sit around long enough to collect soil, filth, and grime. What it needs to collect is souls, faith, and glory.

The problem with a souvenir such as grace is people tend to treat it like a toy. The cute little Holstein cow I bought in Texas that says, “I love Texas” to my grandchildren was a toy they wanted to play with but I wouldn’t let them. In the spiritual world some see grace as toy to play with.

Sinners on the outside toying with the idea that because of God’s grace they expect others to love them as they are with the ability to continue their sinful paths skateboarding on the free ride of God’s grace. Those in the church tinkering around kicking the soccer ball of responsibility to those they think should be in charge of that ministry. People like the preacher, missionaries, or youth group leader anyone but themselves.

We need to get it right. Grace is something we all need. Its something we all require. We are all one of those “sinners” on the outside of Heaven in need of it. In need of it to help us change into the children God wants us to be. It gives us the desire and ability to do it. Once we pick up that souvenir we can’t place it on the shelf to get dusty but we need to put it into practice on a daily basis.

It’s not a one time pass to a free concert we watch and walk away from. No it’s the door to a relationship with our Heavenly Father. It’s the beginning of a journey that has no end. It’s taking our life out of our own hands and placing it in God’s in a gesture alone that increases our value tremendously. Extend that gift to others. Bring it back not to be abused but used to glorify God and better ourselves.

I’ve got a souvenir; it’s the grace of God. Share it with me.

© 2011 Karen J Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing


Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said...

AMEN! It's sad and breaking of the heart for people to think they have the power to give or take away Grace and truth is..that isn't for us to give or takeaway...its a free gift of our Father and we may not like that and want to attach a price, but His Son has already said, "It is finished" and it's not for us to pre-determine...well lets add a tax to this or that...

Great post!!!

Cindy said...

That's so true Karen... Grace is often times taken for granted and, it's such an incredible gift when received and, when extended to others just as Christ does for us. Thanks for sharing!!

Carol said...

"We are all one of those sinners" . . . so true.