“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” – 2 Corinthians 9:15
When my daughter asked, “What’s for breakfast?” I knew she wouldn’t be happy with my answer. Anticipating some resistance, I replied in a cheery voice, “Oatmeal.” Although I had expected a slight frown or a huge sigh, I was completely shocked at her response.
“Why can’t we have cereal or something else? Is there a problem with that?!” she said.
I was speechless. My daughter had never spoken to me in that tone of voice, nor had she ever uttered such disrespectful words. Taking a deep breath, I said in the calmest voice I could muster, “No, but there is a BIG problem with your attitude.
I explained that her behavior was unacceptable. Her punishment was two-fold: 1) she was grounded from playing games on the computer for a week (I knew that would hurt), and 2) she was to fold a heaping basket of clean laundry for me. My daughter sat on the floor and sulked, taking her sweet time with the clothes. Fifteen minutes later, it was time for school. She wasn’t even close to being done, so I said, “Just leave it. You can finish when you get home.”
Once I’d dropped the girls off at school, I went rollerblading to clear my head. I was upset that our morning started off like it did. As I skated, though, the Lord gave me an idea on how to turn a frustrating experience into a teachable moment.
When I got home, I sat on the living room floor and folded every piece of laundry. I wasn’t excusing my daughter for her rudeness or letting her “get away with it.” Rather, I wanted to give her a concrete example of a wonderful spiritual reality. After putting the clothes in their proper places, I placed a sign on the empty basket that said, “GRACE.”
As soon as I my daughter walked into the living room later that day, she asked, “What happened to the clothes?”
“Do you see that sign on the front?” I asked. She nodded yes. “What does GRACE mean?”
She replied, “It means doing something for someone when they don’t deserve it.”
“That’s right,” I said. “Even though you didn’t deserve it, I folded the clothes for you. What you did was wrong, but I forgave you. I showed you grace. That’s exactly what God did when He sent Jesus to the cross. We deserved death, but Jesus took our place. He died for us and paid the penalty for our sin.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) says, “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.” Eternal life is not something we can earn. We can’t make it to Heaven on our own merit.
I gave my daughter a gift she didn’t deserve. God gives us an even greater gift – eternal life! He extends salvation freely to anyone and everyone who trusts in Him. If you don’t yet know the Lord as Savior, you can. Today. Right now. God will wipe away your mountain of sin. All you have to do is believe and then receive His gift of grace.
How to Become a Christian
According to the Bible, if you want to become a follower of Christ, you need to:
- A – Admit that you are a sinner in need of God’s grace.
- B – Believe that Jesus came to this earth as the Son of God, lived a perfect life, died for your sins, and rose again to give you eternal life.
- C – Confess your sins to God and receive His forgiveness.
Following is a sample prayer for salvation. Of course, you should use your own words to talk to God, but this might help guide you:
“God, I acknowledge that I’m a sinner in need of your forgiveness. I’m sorry for the life I’ve lived. I repent of my sin (turn away from it) and choose to follow you. Your Word says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).” I believe you sent your Son, Jesus, to die in my place. I believe Jesus paid the penalty for my sin and that He rose from the dead on the third day. Today, God, I accept your gift of salvation. I declare that Jesus is now my Savior and Lord of my life. Thank you, God, for saving me. Thank you for making a way for me to have a personal relationship with you. I want all that I do to bring glory to you. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”