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By Pastor Jim Neal
First Southern Baptist Church, Shafter 

Pastor's Corner - July 25, 2019

We can share some of our own grace

 


“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” --Genesis 6:8

I am not going to bore you with how I happened upon this verse concerning the time of the great flood and righteousness of one man; however, what struck me was the concept of grace. That word is used in so many ways and situations today, the meaning can become quite convoluted and even watered down.

Many say “grace” before a meal, which means, of course, the giving of thanks. When it comes to bills or insurance policies, we are afforded a grace period before a service or policy is shut off or is cancelled, indicating an act of gratitude or pardoning, and, of course, many young girls/women are said to have “grace” and charm, pointing to their social decorum.

I looked up the word “grace” in my old college Webster’s Dictionary (and I do mean old) and was amazed at the amount of literary attention that is given to this word. I was equally amazed at the various contexts in which this word is used in our society. But what is God saying of Noah when it says that he found “grace” in the eyes of the Lord?

Here as in most cases throughout Scripture, the broad theological meaning of the word grace means “God’s unmerited love and favor.” Although Noah was not a perfect man by any stretch, he was a man who found favor in the eyes of God, and because of this unmerited favor, God was able to preserve His creation for which we all should be grateful.

It is easy to get all “theological” when we consider people like Noah, Abraham, David, Peter, Paul and others of Scripture when considering the grace of God; however, what about you and me and the millions of others around the world? Aren’t we also in need of that grace and unmerited favor? Absolutely. Ephesians 2:8 & 9 says, “For by Grace we are saved, through faith…”[

I would like us to consider the human side of grace for a moment. I believe that not only are we in need of God’s unmerited love and favor today, but someone in all of our lives is in need of OUR unmerited love and favor. I have no idea who it is in your life, but I have a few in my life that are in that need, and it is my intention “by the grace of God” to give it to them unconditionally. This is one of those areas that it takes the grace of God to fulfill our human intentions.

Just as Noah found grace in the eyes of God; who is it that needs to see, sense and know your grace in their lives? Remember the words of Paul: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Jim Neal is pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Shafter.

 

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