This past week, I took a break from reading writing books, novels, science related booklets (Miracle metals for example) and learning various methods of differential calculus and determinants. Guess what I did. I read a book. That’s right. Went on hiatus of reading books to read a book. And that’s it in the picture. GRACE: More than we deserve, Greater than we imagine by Max Lucado. This might come across as a review or something. I didn’t stop to process that. Kindly bear with me.
Before I dive into the transforming message, let me share a little of Max’s creative writing style as reflected in the book: ‘The Red Sea opened like a curtain and closed like a shark’s jaw.’ – describing the transition of the Israelites and how God watched their back. ‘Have you been snatched by the nape of your neck and shaken to your senses by grace?’ – go figure. A character was described as ‘a hulk of a fellow,’ ‘square jaw,’ ‘sandy hair,’ ‘well shaved,’ etc. Truth be told, the book served as a writing coach for last week.
Now to the message. Not holding anything back, I dropped myself into the world of Grace and was sullen when the last chapter faded. I think Max knew how I’d feel, so he provided a reader’s guide, with bible texts and in-depth questions to devour. I haven’t gone far, but here’s a synopsis of the first chapter. I won’t be posting the questions asked, just my answers…
- God’s Grace is abundant, through Jesus Christ. The more we behold our sin, the more the overflowing abundance of God’s Grace surpasses it. Godly Grace cannot be earned. It makes us rely not on our own strength, but Christ’s power. It cannot be earned.
- Grace received is grace given. Grace-given gives grace. The work of grace is not complete in us until we begin to give others.
- The world judges on a scale of good/bad. You don’t lie – good. You call your teacher a pig – bad. You return all company checks without cheating – A+. while this isn’t entirely faulty, God’s Grace system contradicts it. Here, nothing we would ever do can scale beyond the ‘bad’ grade. So, to say we are accepted into God’s kingdom by grace (God’s unmerited favor) through trusting in him and believing is still radical.
Max asks, “Have you been shaped by grace?” “Strengthened by grace?” “Emboldened by grace?” “You’ve been boazed by God.” (Boazed is coined from Boaz, a kinsman-redeemer who married Ruth, one of the five women in the genealogy of Christ, and the grandmother of King David.) As Boaz redeemed Ruth, so have we all been grace-washed by our kinsman-redeemer, Jesus. He washed the grime off our feet, stooped to write in the sand for us, and ultimately bore the weight of our sins. Not that we deserve it. It’s simply GRACE.
After-word: Kindly preview some of the bible texts from the reader’s guide from chapter one. Thank you for stopping by. Text: Galatians 3:10-29, Romans 5:19-6:2, Romans 12:9-21.