another_look_grace2It was a dark, rainy night as I traveled north on Highway 101. As I passed through a small community I soon realized that I did something wrong because I saw red and blue lights in my rearview mirror. I quickly pulled off to the side of the road. An officer soon appeared at my window and kindly asked for my licenses and registration papers.

I looked at my wife and said, “I wonder what this is going to cost us?”

The officer walked back to his car and soon returned. Then the explanation came.

“Sir, he said, “the reason I stopped you is because you were going 50 in a 40 mile an hour zone. I stop a lot of drivers in this area and give out a lot of tickets. However, I’m going to let you go with just a warning. Watch the speed signs the next time you drive through this stretch of highway.”

I drove away with a “Thank you, Lord” and sensed the Holy Spirit saying, “That’s grace”.

If ever there were an attribute to describe God, it would be the word merciful. Where would we be today without the mercy of Jesus? There is no gospel without it being wrapped in grace and mercy.

Jesus Gave Examples

Jesus gave us many examples in the Bible regarding His compassion, mercy, and grace toward people like you and me. I wonder why we often find it so difficult to extend that same grace to others.Every struggling person needs to be told of the grace and mercy of God. Grace and mercy do not condemn—they offer hope. They say, “Don’t give up! Try again. You are not a hopeless case. I can handle your failures.” Here is what God says, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). *

We must remember there is often a price to pay for our failures. It could be the loss of peace, a relationship, or maybe something more severe. We may suffer shame or even condemnation from others. But grace and mercy continue to be available in those difficult times.

On another dark night I unknowingly parked my car in a no parking zone. I didn’t realize what I had done until I returned and found a white envelope on my windshield. It was a parking ticket and I painfully paid the price for breaking a law.

We will often enter a “no parking zone” and break one of God’s laws. But let us never forget that all out tickets were paid in full at Calvary. There is no grace or mercy without the cross. Jesus paid a terrible price to make them available to us. Shouldn’t we also follow Jesus’ example and extend grace and mercy to our families, struggling followers of Christ, and everyone we come into contact with? What a better world this would be! Why not start today?