Grace Experienced = Grace Understood
Have you ever done something pretty bad, but the person on the other end extended you grace?
Like maybe you did something wrong at work, but your boss let it slide. Or maybe you wronged a friend but they forgave you anyway? Do you remember how good it felt? Can you remember how relieved you felt? Didn’t it feel like a weight was lifted?
I’ve probably read it a hundred times, and skipped past it, but this verse bursted off the page one day, and has stuck with me ever since.
Hebrews 12:15 says, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God.”
It’s then followed by a warning when someone misses it: “And that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many...”
Essentially it says when we miss grace, a bitter root begins to grow.
In Hebrew culture, any poisonous plant would be called a “bitter” plant. So the author of Hebrews is using “bitter root” as a metaphor to make it clear that when we miss grace, things can become toxic.
Religion without grace is poisonous. A relationship without grace is poisonous. A heart without grace is toxic & poisonous.
When dealing with people, grace is ALWAYS necessary. So, I have a secret...
I’m not perfect.
Here’s another secret...
Neither are you.
Big shocker, right? We aren’t perfect, and I can guarantee that there will be interactions that happen in your life today that will require grace. There will be interactions with people at work, there will be interactions with your spouse and kids this week, and they will all require grace because they are people and people aren’t perfect.
The thing about grace is that the word has been used and abused to the point where many people have become numb to the concept.
Most of us know what the word means. We could talk about stories of grace in the Bible that you’ve probably heard a million times. Ones like the prodigal son, or we could talk about how Paul uses the word over a hundred times in the Bible, or I could try and dissect it like a frog and attempt to explain every theological thing about grace and act like I know all about it. (How many people have listened to that sermon once or twice?) But honestly I don’t have the credentials for that.
BUT, what I do have is my experience and my story. Grace doesn’t mean that much to you until it collides with your timeline.
Let me say it another way..
Grace is better understood when it’s experienced, not just explained.
God’s grace is compelling when you talk about it, but it’s irresistible when you experience it.
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This is a big reason I feel called to ministry.
I want people to experience God’s grace. I want people to experience Him like I have. I don’t want people to miss the grace that’s powerful enough to erase guilt. The grace that’s big enough to cover shame. The grace that’s real enough to heal a marriage. The grace that’s strong enough to hold you up when you’re too weak. The grace that saved a wretch like me.
So here’s my challenge to you:
Do everything you can today to help someone else experience God’s grace. It won’t always be easy, but it’s not coming from you. It’s coming from God. Be an extension of the grace He’s given you. Extend it so someone else can experience it like you have.