Who would have thought that TV star Kim Kardashian West and President Donald J. Trump would be a likely pair to usher in grace for a 63 year old, African-American woman who called prison home. Not me. I don’t know either of them personally, but it’s important that we not make judgements and put people into groups to discount them. Instead, recognize that everyone is an individual that God loves.
Kim exemplified something that many of us could use a lesson in. It’s called, see something, do something. Alice Marie Johnson was convicted as a first time, non-violent drug dealer, but while serving a life sentence she turned her life around even becoming an ordained minister. I understand that Kim saw a story about Alice and decided to do something. Her celebrity status didn’t exclude her from having a heart, and her actions marched her right into the Oval office of the White House to meet with the president.
Commuting the sentence of Alice is something I believe many would agree was a good decision. It allowed her to be released from prison early after serving 21 years. Yes, that was grace. She had previously been found guilty of a crime, but after two decades received a get out of jail free card.
Thinking spiritually, I am so thankful that God saw what a mess Adam made when he sinned in the garden of Eden. It got a little dirt on all of us just for being human beings, not to mention the things we did, that were not pleasing to God.
The truth is we are not much different than Alice. We were guilty of sin but surrendering our lives to Jesus allows us to walk away from the punishment. We’ve probably dealt with some consequences of our sinful actions, but our punishment has been commuted. In fact, the charges against us have be canceled. (Colossians 2:14) Perhaps Alice could have stayed in the prison believing she didn’t deserve to be out, but instead she is enjoying precious time with her friends and family, because she accepted the grace given to her.
Grace is not about doing whatever we want to do. It simply means that God is for us. We have undeserved favor. Jesus paid the price, and we’ve been set free.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” -Ephesians 2:8
Yes, we have been saved by grace, and it is the gift of God. Trusting Jesus gives us the grace to avoid having to pay the penalty for our sins. It’s so awesome. Jesus saw the desire of the Father and went to the cross on our behalf. He gained the victory over sin and death. He saw something. He did something.
Now it’s our turn. What do we see? Do we see a world of hurting people? Do we see people suffering? Do we see people with no hope? Now, what will we do?
Cassandra Woods is an inspirational author and speaker who has seen God’s word become real in her own life. She finds great joy in sharing God’s love with other women and encouraging them to develop an intimate relationship with God. Cassandra is married to Christopher and is the mother of four young adults. To read more about her, click here.
Cancer diagnosis. Company downsizing. Financial challenges. These are just a few of the storms that Cassandra, alongside her husband, found herself in.
What do you do when you’ve cried out to God, and the only response you can seem to get is silence? What do you do when life throws its worst punches at you? The answer is simple:You Rise Up!
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