My hunting and fishing activities during 1997 can be summed up with the word: “slim.” With the responsibilities of a growing ministry, writing two books, training a new employee (J.D.), and having two of my hunting trips canceled due to weather related problems, my opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors were very limited.
Perhaps one of the best excursions of the year was a trip I took with a co-worker and my hunting partner, Jeff. We journeyed up to a cattle ranch located in Northern California. Our goal was to bag a wild boar. We all had the need to shoot at something and clamored for the glimpse of a moving black dot on the landscape.
After a day of some serious hiking and glassing, Jeff spotted an animal and called me on my radio. We met and began our climb on his ATV to the top of the mountain. I asked him why he passed up the shot? “Jim, I knew you really needed the opportunity and wanted to give it to you.” During our short ride I thought about his generosity. There was nothing I did that deserved this chance and felt honored and unworthy for the gift.
As we rounded the last bend there stood my forlorn partner in ministry, J.D., with a sad look on his face. His past big game hunting experience had been minimal with little or no results. I knew that a chance for the pig would mean even more to him. I said to Jeff, “Stop the ATV and let’s give J.D. the chance.” Jeff said, “But this pig is yours.” But I told him I wanted to share my gift in the same way Jeff had shared with me.
Unfortunately, J.D. missed the shot and the pig scrambled for the nearest bush where he quickly disappeared. While we were all disappointed with the empty game bag, there was a certain positive spirit in the truck on the way home. We had all experienced the rewards of grace, a gift that we don’t deserve and cannot earn, and it compels us to share it with others.
“To show grace is to extend favor or kindness to one who doesn’t deserve it and can never earn it. Receiving God’s forgiveness and reconciliation by grace stands in sharp contrast to attempting to earn it based on works. Every time the thought of grace appears, there is the idea of its being undeserved. In no way is the recipient getting what he or she deserves. Favor is being extended simply out of the goodness of the heart of the giver.” – Chuck Swindoll
God has freely extended grace 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—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) The question we ask ourselves today is what kind of grace are we extending to others?
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:1-10
Personal Application: Spend time thanking God for His generous, unmerited grace He has given you. Look for concrete ways to extend God’s grace to others today—
especially toward your family.
Jim Grassi, D. Min. and Wendell Morton
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5