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Scripture quoted From The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Living Grace Filled Lives

Romans 2:1-5 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who do such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. (ESV)

God’s grace is amazing—beyond what any hymn can state.

Living a grace filled life has at least two sides.

First, learning to accept and appreciate God’s grace toward us.

A grace that is abundant—it can’t be exhausted.
A grace that extends and covers all our weaknesses and sins.
A grace that guarantees love and acceptance in spite of our failings.
A grace that comforts us with the truth we can do nothing to make God love us less—nor can we do anything to make Him love us more.

Amazing, Astounding, Awesome—Actual Grace.

But second, learning to live a grace filled life requires us to look at others and live with others with grace. To extend to others the same spirit of grace that God extends to us.

A grace that is abundant—that doesn’t count the wrongs committed (Matthew 18:21-35), that keeps no record of wrong. (1 Corinthians 13:5)
A grace that extends and covers weakness and sin—for love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
A grace that guarantees love and acceptance in spite of our failings—for we all stumble in many ways. (James 3:2)
A grace that comforts others with the truth that God’s love doesn’t change and we will remain faithful.

If we don’t live grace filled lives we are treating God’s grace, love, kindness, mercy and patience with contempt.

It’s like saying to God, “I only value You and Your character when it applies to me.” That reminds me of Jonah after God forgave a repentant Nineveh.

Jonah 4:1-2 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2 And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. (ESV)

Notice verse 3. Jonah makes a great statement about the character of God being gracious, merciful, slow to anger, steadfast in love and relenting of punishment—awesome, amazing grace. But to Jonah that was negative because it was a grace displayed towards someone else.

May we live grace filled lives that extend the grace we have been shown, liberally on others.
May we be patient, kind and merciful to those who disagree with us and with those who dress differently than we do. To those who annoy us or interfere with our plans or want to consume our time, may we extend grace and love.

May the church be grace filled.

Pastor Stephen Kilgore