Written by Pastor Eric Everhart
Throughout this whole pandemic situation across the globe, I am sure many of you have seen or at least heard about the amount of “hoarding” that has been going on across the United States. Everything from toilet paper to hand sanitizer, to even ketchup, people are grabbing up large amounts of physical needs to store up in case there is a shortage. Instead of taking what we need and leaving enough for others, people across the globe are buying up everything they can as a way to feel secure. I certainly understand the panic that has been created by the world but is there really a need to “take” and “hoard”?
In our faith walks, God calls us to be ambassadors of the gospel, to be “grace givers!” God’s amazing gift of grace to the world is not something for us to “hoard” or to keep to ourselves but instead we are called to spread God’s gift of eternal life to everyone we come in contact with. If you are a Christ-follower that has received that awesome gift of salvation, your security should come from the fact that God’s promises of eternal life are true, that you do not belong to yourself but belong completely to our great God (HC Q&A 1). And because of this truth, your “security” lies in the completed work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, not in anything you can “do” or “hoard.” In fact, because we stand in the truth of God’s love for us, we are called to share it with the world….NOT HOARD IT for ourselves!
As a kid, I spent a great deal of time with my Grandfather. If we weren’t building something we were at the fishing pier drowning worms. We loved to fish. One summer my grandfather bought several new fishing lures. I thought they were awesome, and in my desire to have one, I stole one of the lures from my grandfather’s tackle box. Of course my grandfather knew right away where the missing lure went and he confronted me immediately. I got my very first lesson about God’s grace from my grandfather.
“Eric, I’m really disappointed that you stole from me,” my grandfather said. I apologized for stealing and at this point I was expecting to be punished. But my grandfather did something I didn’t expect. He loaded up the fishing gear and said, “It’s a nice day for the fish to be biting, let’s grab some nightcrawlers and head to the pier.” In amazement I said, “You mean I’m not going to get punished?” My grandfather replied, “Let me tell you about a guy named Jesus who had every reason for punishing his children for all the wrong things they had done, but instead he showed them MERCY.” “So let me get this straight, his children misbehaved and he didn’t punish them, why?” My grandfather looked me in the eyes and said with a smile, “Because he loves them so very much.” He continued, “Jesus took the punishment and gave his children an amazing gift…we call that gift GRACE.” “Okay, but why are you taking me fishing instead of being mad at me?” “Because, just like Jesus loves you Eric, I love you so very much.”
To be perfectly honest with you, I had a hard time understanding everything my grandfather just said to me but two things were crystal clear. First, there was this guy named Jesus who loved me so much that he took the punishment for his children’s sin and second, my grandfather loved me in a way I couldn’t put into words.
On that day, my grandfather didn’t hoard or keep to himself the gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead he poured that truth out into me in what he said and in what he did. He gave me the gospel in sharing the truth, by being forgiving, showing me mercy, and extending grace to me when I only deserved a spanking.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
In your life, where do you need to share the good news of Jesus Christ and his amazing gift of salvation? Has God given you an opportunity to forgive, to show mercy, to give grace, or to just love someone who is difficult to love? Don’t hold on to or hoard the beautiful gift of our Savior, but instead be a walking, talking, living, giver of Grace! May others experience God’s love through the grace he has given you!
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1John 4:7-8
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