The Grace Choice

The Grace Choice

To give grace or not to give grace? That is the question. I am not talking about whether you should pray at a restaurant in public. I am referring to Jesus' example to serve others through sacrificing ourselves. "But Sheryl," you might say, "we don't have a choice about offering grace to others or not, the Bible says we have to give grace."

Okay, yes, you are right, God wants us to give and show grace. However, the 'grace choice' is not a natural response. Ever been cut off in traffic? Responding in the Spirit, we can ask for God's help and chose not to honk the horn or shake our fist or even run the other driver off the road. We can choose to pray a blessing for the person (they sure need it), this act of serving them and loving God helps to keep our raw emotions in check and blood pressure under control. We might even avoid causing a car accident or committing murder. "By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care" (1 Corinthians 3:10).

In His ultimate act of service, Jesus showed us how to love others through the example of foot washing. In John 13:12-16, “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. ‘You call me Teacher and Lord and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you should also wash one another’s feet…Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” Why would Jesus do this? So glad you asked.

One commentary, http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/washing-of-feet/ says,  "On the last evening of His life, Jesus washed the disciples' feet (John 13:1-16). Their pride, heightened by the anticipations of place in the Messianic kingdom whose crisis they immediately expected, prevented their doing this service for each other. Possibly the same pride had expressed itself on this same evening in a controversy about places at the table. Jesus, conscious of His divine dignity and against Peter's protest, performed for them this lowliest service. His act of humility actually cleansed their hearts of selfish ambition, killed their pride, and taught them the lesson of love.

To give grace or not to give grace?

            To give grace or not to give grace? That is the question. Maybe Jesus even wondered, "Really, God? You want Me to serve them? You've got to be kidding. Oh, so you are serious. Okay, Father, I need your help." And then Jesus proceeded to exhibit His greatest act of love to His disciples. Now you and I are compelled to follow this beautiful example of Jesus and as we rely on His strength to serve Him obediently.

            It's a matter of the daily choice to go to Jesus and ask Him what He wants from us. He says, “Will you trust me?” God has many gifts for us, gifts of grace. The only way we can access these gifts is to walk with Him, trusting Him. When we say yes to the 'grace choice,' we allow Him to take care of the details. He showers the grace gifts after we get done with our 'acts of service.' "Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given" (John 1:16).

God has many gifts for us, gifts of grace.

            In 2009, my first husband was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident. I’ve had lots of fears -- fear of the future, fear of change, fear of adjustment. I liked things the way they were – yet I know they won’t ever be the same again. God has given me grace in my time of need. Jesus asked me to lay down my plans, ideas, ministries at His feet. And I did. What about you? Wonder how you will spend your life, time, ministry? Allow God's grace to enter in, to direct your path and pave the way. I loved studying the book of James in Beth Moore's study, Mercy Triumphs. Beth uses four little power packed words: “He gives more grace.” They have stuck with me. To give grace or not to give grace? That is the question. Do you need grace? Do you need to give grace? Ask God for more. He always gives more grace. That’s a prayer God can’t wait to answer.

             "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace" (Acts 20:24).

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Sheryl Giesbrecht

Exchanging hurt for hope is Sheryl Giesbrecht’s focus—a message she shares with audiences as a radio and television personality, author and speaker. A dynamic teacher and motivating leader, Giesbrecht has endured many changes and challenges, moving her to a deep faith, trust and dependence on God.

She served as Focus on the Family's columnist for Pastor's Wives for four years. Hundreds of her columns, magazine and devotional articles have appeared in Focus on The Family Magazine, Just Between Us, Discipleship Journal, CCM, Walk Thru the Bible’s - InDeed and Tapestry publications.

Giesbrecht’s radio show, “Transformed Through Truth” is nationally and internationally syndicated and heard daily by over 10 million listeners on networks across the United States. The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network shares the show internationally on seven continents. “Transformed Through Truth” launched as a 30-minute internet television teaching feature in March 2017. To view this amazing teaching time, go to www.HSBN.tv.

Sheryl has a heart for missions and is avid about reaching out to the poor and needy, locally through the Rescue Mission and worldwide through various ministry partners. Giesbrecht is a Lead Like Jesus Facilitator and missionary with Freedom In Christ Ministries (www.FICM.org) and has been personally involved with equipping hundreds and facilitating the training of thousands of leaders internationally. Sheryl’s latest book is entitled It’ll Be Okay: Finding God When Doubt Hides the Truth.

The joys of Giesbrecht’s life are her children and thirteen grandchildren. She is excited about the new beginning she shares with her marriage to Dr. Jim Turner. Sheryl holds a Bachelor of Arts from Biola University, a Master’s in Ministry and a Doctorate of Theology.

Learn more about Sheryl Giesbrecht on her website, www.FromAshesToBeauty.com. She also invites readers to follow her on Facebook, and on Twitter (@SGiesbrecht).

 

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