For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. –Romans 2:-23-24 (NIV)
If you were to die tonight, would you spend eternity in heaven or hell?
This question was asked during a live radio show in 2005 to Hillary Clinton. Her response:
“I consider myself like any person of faith to be doing the very best I can. I hope that I will be someone who will live a life that is worthy of my strong Methodism and my Christian faith and my commitment to doing the very best I can as a human being to live up to the example of our Lord and Savior. But I cannot tell you where I will be. I can only hope and pray that I will find favor in God’s eyes.”
This “favor” or blessing Mrs. Clinton speaks of reminds me of another word: Grace.
Grace began in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. You know the story. God warns them not to eat from the tree or they would die (Genesis 2:16-17). But what do they do? They eat from the tree. And because of their disobedience, sin is introduced into the world.
God could have chosen to banish them from the Garden but instead chose to forgive them and restore their broken relationship. God gave them a second chance, and He is willing to do the same for us.
What is grace? And why is it so amazing? Grace is a second chance. A gift from God to free us from sin and death. That is what makes it amazing. He grants us grace even when we don’t deserve it.
He wants to see all His children saved but He does not force the choice on us. It is our decision. We can either accept or decline His offer.
Salvation is not earned. No amount of good deeds will make you good enough to get you into Heaven. It is through the Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross and took our punishment upon himself to rescue us from death.
Think about that for a moment. God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die for OUR sins. A sinner like me. I make mistakes. I make bad choices. My relationship with God doesn’t make me perfect; it makes me human. His grace allows me a do-over. Many do-overs actually. A chance to learn and grow from my mistakes.
Over 200 hundred years ago, God’s grace influenced the life of a man whose dealings in the slave trade made him a wealthy man. He turned his life around. He gave his life to Jesus and became a minister in the Church of England. His love of music led him to write one of the most beloved hymns we sing today. His name was John Newton and the song, Amazing Grace.
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Recently diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Tonya Masoner continues to write for BoP when she is able. She doesn’t ask “Why me Lord?” She embraces the journey God has set forth for her. The battle has already been won. God has walked before her and now He leads her to victory. Her Breath on Paper bio can be foundhere.