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God’s Amazing Grace

My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:1-2

For many years as a young adult, I had what is, perhaps, a rather common view of God as the “stern Judge” of humanity. I envisioned God as an accountant with a huge ledger book containing the life history of all his children. And somewhere in the back of that book under the “Ws,” there was a page with my name on it. On that page were two columns: one column contained the good works that I had done and the other, well, contained the “not so good stuff,” the sins of my life story.

As I pondered this possibility in my mind, it always seemed to me that I could recall more on the “not so good” side of the ledger than on the “look at me I’m great side. In my own view, I inevitably came up short.

I realized I was like the guy in the joke who arrived at the pearly gates only to learn that entrance depended upon an accrual of 100 points. After enumerating the good works of his lifetime for several hours, St. Peter said, "Well, that’s all only worth 5 points." To which the man replied, “Heavens to Betsy, it’s only by the grace of God that I’ll get in!” And St. Peter then said, “Hey, that’s worth 100 points, come on in.”  

So, there you have it. It’s all about God’s grace. I can’t beg, buy, borrow or steal it, but I can accept it as a gift given to me by my loving Father who created me. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God—not because of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you now and always. Amen.
The Rev. Robert E. Wareing
Pastoral Associate
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