Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2
Years ago one of my daughters pulled out one of my old high school yearbooks.
After she had showed it to her brother and sister and they had all stopped laughing at my haircut and the clothes I wore, I looked through that book and did some reminiscing.
One of the most memorable pictures I came across was a teacher who surprised me. I was discouraged about his class and the grade I knew I was earning. To my surprise, the report card showed a grade higher than I knew I deserved. I asked him about his mistake. He said, "For somebody like you, I usually give a better grade than earned. That way, you'll get enthused and work harder to keep that mark next quarter.”
Maybe his teaching style wasn’t entirely fair, but he was right, and it was a gracious act. I did work harder.
That professor reminds me, just a little, of God.
The Lord, because of Jesus, has given me, and all believers a lot better grade than we deserve. We haven’t earned, and we certainly don’t deserve, a pass into heaven. Even so, because of Jesus’ substitution, because of His sacrifice for us, we will get it.
Now, it's my job and yours, to get working. Not for heaven of course, that’s a gift given to us because of Jesus.
We should get working so we can offer our thanks to our Gracious Lord.
Today, tomorrow, next week, you may run into someone who needs a break, who needs to hear a word of encouragement; who's afraid of what's going to happen next. Give them that break. Even if you don't think they deserve it, give them a break.
The grace you reflect from God can make a difference. It isn't fair, but grace works, both for the giver and the receiver.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for giving me a far better grade than I deserve. Because of Your Son's sacrifice, I have been given the gift of grace. May everything I do today reflect Your grace and love. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries