Devotion: 2015-06-03

Extending Grace

2 Cor. 4:13-4:15

There’s a proverb that says “Those who can do, and those who can’t teach.”  I’ve never found that to be true.  The best teachers are the ones who understand a subject better than most others.  If you can’t do it, and you can’t understand it, how can you teach it?  In the same way, Paul quotes from Psalm 116:10 that the one who has experienced truth is ready to preach it.  What Paul experienced is what the Psalmist also experienced, which was great affliction, and a realization that humanity has a serious truth problem (Psalm 116:11).

Paul identifies Jesus as the solution to both of these realities.  Life in this world can be exceedingly difficult.  Christ Jesus lived in that world, and died in it as well.  The fallen-ness of the world comes from our sin, and the sins of the spiritual powers and principalities who have also rebelled against God’s rule.  But Christ was raised from death as the guarantee and promise that something better is yet to come.  In the end, truth will prevail over lies, and life over death.  That guarantee and promise is freely proclaimed.  It is a gift of grace, a gift undeserved and yet offered to all nations and people.

Paul understood affliction, but even more importantly he understood grace.  What he believed, he therefore spoke of so that the grace of God in Jesus Christ might extend to more and more people.

Blessed Lord, as we have believed in Jesus’ grace and forgiveness, may we also live and speak it to others. Amen.