Bible Society of South Africa

Grace: Recognising Grace – 10 November 2022

By Louise Gevers

Bible text(s)

44But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil.

Matthew 5:44-45GNBOpen in Bible reader

God’s grace is amazing; but what’s even more amazing is how his grace often escapes the notice of so many of the people who receive it day by day, night by night, year in and year out. All people benefit from God’s gracious gifts in creation – and definitely notice when they’re not there – the disappearance of the rain during a drought, no sunshine on a cold day, but take for granted the multiple blessings of everyday beauty, kindness, and needs that are met in ordinary ways, as well as in the more surprising, that they enjoy.

This reminds me of my granddaughter this year, just before her third birthday. Her parents had bought her a little ride-on bike that she’d seen and liked, to “ride to pre-school”; however, it arrived a few weeks before the birthday and was put into a cupboard, waiting for the big day.

I found it when looking for her jersey one day, and asked my daughter if she wasn’t worried that Audie would see it and then spoil the surprise. “Oh no,” she laughed, “she can’t even see something she’s looking for when I explain where it is, and it’s right in front of her. She will open that door and never see it!”

How different Jesus was when he graced the earth; He saw it all.

He spoke to the marginalised, cared about the poor and the lost, healed the sick, and raised the dead; He spoke about the grace and generosity of His Father and taught people how to pray to Him and know the grace of forgiveness, and answered prayers. (Matthew 6:9) He stressed the values of the Kingdom of Heaven and taught that their “light must shine before people, so they will see the good things (they) do and praise (their) Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Philip Yancey likens Jesus to a foreign visitor who “notices what the natives overlook” and observes that He “saw grace everywhere”, where every creature, animal and human, the good and the bad alike, freely benefits from God’s generous provision for all.

It’s in this context that Jesus teaches the necessity of loving our enemies and praying for our persecutors: “so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven.”

God’s example of generosity to all is the blueprint of His Kingdom. His desire is for us to be like him in love, grace and forgiveness and become his perfect children who live his perfect Will with true integrity. “And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that! You must be perfect –just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:47)

Prayer: Father, help me to recognise your grace everywhere and joyfully grow more like you in perfection each day. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.10
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