“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”  Ephesians 2:8

I am alive today because of God’s grace.  The sun came up this morning because of God’s grace.  The stars were out last night because of God’s grace.  The breath I’m taking in right now is because of God’s grace.  I am forgiven of the sins I have committed because of God’s grace.  I am forgiven of the sins I will commit because of God’s grace.  I open God’s Word today because God’s grace has given it to me.  I am able to pray, to have access to a conversation with the one and only God, because of God’s grace.  I hear the robins singing in the prayer garden outside my office on this chilly morning as a reminder of God’s grace.  The daffodils burst through a late snow a few weeks ago as a reminder of God’s grace.  There are a thousand natural and supernatural benefits we enjoy every day because of God’s grace.  Many, if not most, of these phenomena go unnoticed on a typical day.

What might happen if we noticed them more?  What if we were constantly aware of God’s grace?  We would be more thankful, more humble, more aware of what God is doing in the world, more aware of the needs of people around us, and more aware of the power of God’s Spirit available to us.  And, in turn, God’s grace would be pouring out of our lives.

Remember Jesus’ story of the man who had a huge debt forgiven and then that same man promptly moved to put the screws on the next guy who owed him only a little money (see Matthew 18)?  He didn’t see his own huge debt being forgiven as an act of grace, so he showed no grace to the man who owed him only a little.  In the same way, a person can live under a thousand evidences of God’s grace and not take time to notice or acknowledge even one of them as God’s grace.  Without knowing we have been graced, we have no grace to offer others.  It all depends on what you are aware of, and where you place the credit - who or what it is that you place your faith in.

We are all living under a thousand or more of God’s graces every day.  We depend on His forgiveness and His love.  We are empowered by His Spirit.  So, here is the challenge of allowing Easter to have special meaning this year:  Without God’s grace given to us in Christ Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection we have no life, now or eternal.  Open your eyes and hearts to take in the enormity of what that means.  If you notice God’s grace at work in your life, even “Hallelujah!” is a weak Easter response.  Filled with His grace, we should jump up and down and shout, “Hoodeedoodeeray!”  And then we should determine to turn the grace we have received outward to others.

Easter Blessings,