ODJ: Gifts of Grace

June 26, 2018 

READ: Ephesians 2:1-9 

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God (v.8).

It was a bad day—and it culminated with me turning too sharply into our driveway and subsequently hitting our neighbour’s parked car in an effort to avoid another one. It was my fault. Great, I thought. There goes more money I don’t have. I’d scraped our bumper and cracked the driver’s side mirror. Although our van took the brunt of it, I’d also dented and scraped one of our neighbour’s passenger-side doors. Immediately, I knocked on the door of my neighbour’s home and confessed what I had done. “Oh don’t worry about it,” he said. “My car is old anyway.”

His graciousness towards me was a salve for my weary heart on a soul-wearying day. The experience reminded me of the truth in Ephesians 2:8-9: “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” God in His grace sent Jesus to save us. We can’t earn our salvation. Likewise, I didn’t deserve pardon from this man; I couldn’t take any credit for getting away with no financial penalties for hitting his car. Of course he didn’t ‘save’ me, but he did show me much-needed grace.

What’s more, my unmerited favour came from a man who wouldn’t claim to be a Christian. Yet God worked through him to bless me. By His grace, in the past God also worked through unbelievers to bless those who knew Him (see Isaiah 45:1-8).

James 1:17 says, “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” My neighbour’s gracious attitude was God’s gift. Sometimes God’s good gifts come from unexpected places.

—Marlena Graves

365-day plan: John 5:1-47

Read Joshua 2:1-24 and consider how God worked through a prostitute to offer His grace and good gifts to His people. 
When have you received grace from an unexpected place? How can you surprise others with His grace today?