Sunday, January 23, 2011

The One with $10 Grace

This morning I taught a lesson to my middle school group called "The Most Important Word You Hardly Ever Use." The lesson began with me talking with the students about one of the best gifts they've ever received for Christmas or their birthday. iPods, iPhones and iMicrowaves (okay...maybe not iMicrowaves...but I'm sure it's coming) were all listed. The one that surprised me the most though was a student who said his Playstation 2 was his favorite gift he ever received. The student then shared that although he currently has a Playstation 3 that his Playstation 2 meant more to him because he was completely surprised when he received it. That he didn't expect to get it and he remembers the excitement he had when he unwrapped it.
I then called a student up and asked for her to help me with an illustration. I told her that I had a present for her and that all she had to do was to choose whether to accept the gift or not. After she agreed that she could handle the task I pulled a $10 bill out of my pocket and offered it to you. Her eyes opened wide and she looked at me like "WHAT!?!?!" She then looked at me and said "No thank you." I don't know why she didn't accept it, because I know when I was her age I would have taken it and ran to the snack machine and been eating my weight in sugar in about 4 seconds.
She kept saying no when I kept offering it to her and then decided she would end the discussion by walking to her seat and sitting down. I watched as the students reacted by shouting at her "Are you crazy!?!?", "Why wouldn't you take it!?!?" and my favorite..."Can I have it!?!?"
After the service I spent a few minutes collecting my thoughts about how the service went as I wait for our 10:40 church service to start. The thought came to me that the students reaction to her rejecting the $10 should be how we react to people rejecting the Grace of God. The fact that we see the grace as being so irresistible that we cannot see why people won't accept the gift.
The thing about the Grace of God is that it is unconditional. That even if we could do something to earn it, we can't.
God's grace is a free gift that we don't deserve, but He offers it to us.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
Ephesians 2:8.

So just like the girl in my group of students...the choice is yours...are you going to accept the gift...or not?

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