LIKE AN AVALANCHE
By Joey Berrios: Casey Anthony, Osama Bin Laden, Joe Paterno, Rob Blagojevich. Chris Brown. These are not names normally associated with grace. Most of the time, we think of punishment and retribution -- people beyond God’s grace.
Which says a lot, because the way that we extend grace to others is connected to how we receive God’s grace. It’s radical, and it encompasses our struggles, pain, and heartaches; our sin, past mistakes, and failures; even our relationships and friendships. And if we feel that some people are beyond God’s grace, we cannot fully experience it for ourselves.
The apostle Paul is a great example of God’s radical grace. Most Christians would have had reservations about extending grace to Paul, who was a murderer and persecutor. But God extended grace and changed his life forever. He gave Paul a mission, and His grace saw Paul through to the end. Because of that grace, we have most of the New Testament of the Bible, and through Paul’s story we see that even the worst of sinners are eligible to receive God’s wonderful grace.
Paul said the following words about himself:
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:12-14)
We have all made terrible mistakes. We have all said things that we wish we could take back. We have all done things that we deeply regret. But the incredible truth is that God wants to pour out his radical grace and completely revolutionize our lives -- if we allow it to. And to really be in a place to allow it, we need to be willing to give it.
Hillsong United’s recent song, “Like An Avanlance,” proclaims this:
And I find myself on me knees again Caught up in grace like an avalanche Nothing compares to this love love love Burning in my heart
And when you’re caught up in an avalanche, you can’t help but go along. May we all experience the grace of God like an avalanche as we extend God’s radical grace towards others.