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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

Jan. 7, 2011 - Baseball, True North, and Amazing Grace

By T. Ray Rachels

I was a retreat speaker talking in one session on grace. I quoted my friend Dick Dresselhaus’ illustration about how God’s grace is getting what I don’t deserve, and God’s mercy is not getting what I do deserve.

Dick remembered the San Diego Padres Major League Baseball team winning a game, and the home crowd cheering, “We won. We won!”

“I had nothing to do with it,” Dick said. “I’m just a spectator!”

God’s grace is like that. You and I are saved by faith PLUS nothing else! I want to help God out in my quest for righteousness. It’s not necessary; it’s not possible. It’s His grace, and His grace alone!

From my own human point of view, admitting spiritual bankruptcy is a near impossible confession to make. My nature says, “I can’t be all bad.” Yet, God’s Word, His point of view, tells me I have so totally failed that only God can bring grace for my salvation.

I asked the retreat attendees to stand and close their eyes. Then I urged everyone in the circle, with eyes closed, to slowly turn where they stood and keep turning until I said, “Stop!”

After a few seconds, “Stop!”

“Now, while your eyes are still closed,” I told them, “lift your arms and point to what you believe is True North!”

“Keep your eyes closed!” I said, as they fumbled to respond, swinging their arms before settling on a direction. “Now, open your eyes.”

Convulsive laughter. About 75 people were all pointing toward each other. It was a truly comical scene.

“Now,” I said, “let me define grace in light of what we’ve just done. No matter how long your eyes have been closed, no matter how many times you’ve turned around, no matter how bizarre or deep your disorientation, no matter how wrong you are about True North — when you open your eyes, grace is there in front of you, a fixed place. Always in front of you. Whatever you are feeling, whichever direction you are facing, wherever you’ve been, wherever you are going, grace is there before you, always there before you, pointing you to God’s forgiveness, mercy and love — the True North!”

And we don’t deserve a bit of it!

“Immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! … Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish!” (Ephesians 2:4,5,8, The Message).

— T. Ray Rachels served as superintendent of the Southern California District of the Assemblies of God for more than 22 years.

 

 

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