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Grace

A man I knew when he was just a boy lived near one of those old-timey neighborhood grocery stores. As a child he was in that grocery store every day. He knew the owner and those working in the store very well. One day he stole some pencils. It didn’t amount to very much—maybe 25 cents. He didn’t need them. It was just one of those childish acts. In fact he took them home and buried them in the yard. 

When his dad found out (and dads usually do find out), he made the boy take those pencils back to the grocery store and present them and some money for those goods to the owner. The boy walked in with great reluctance, and told the man what he had done. It just so happened that this was on the boy’s birthday, which the owner remembered as the boy handed him the pencils and the money. The owner of the store looked at his young friend for a long time and didn't scold him. He just handed it right back to the boy and said, “Happy birthday, son.”

Wasn’t that a gracious thing to do? Wasn’t that merciful and kind? The boy had done wrong, and he deserved at least a reprimand. Instead the man who was his friend gave him a birthday gift.

That is a picture of the graciousness, the kindness, and the mercy of God. God does not deal with us according to our merits. He deals with us according to his mercy. He does not save us because we deserve it. He saves us in spite of what we deserve. And when we think of the salvation that is ours through the Gospel, we must know that it is the Gospel of grace. God loves us so much that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

On Faith and Works

One of the common denominators of all world religions except Christianity is that they do not correlate faith and works. In Christianity there is the closest correlation between them. In fact the Bible says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26).

The Bible is clear: a workless faith is worthless faith. 

Faith and works must be balanced in true religion. Faith in God and commitment to Jesus Christ are foundational. No man becomes a Christian merely by being good. Faith is the soil from which good works must grow. Real Christian faith always brings forth the fruit of good works. The true follower of Christ first believes, then he serves. As Dr. Perry Webb, former pastor of the First Baptist Church of San Antonio, once said, “A religion that does not look out and reach out and help out is washed out.”

Let us then put our faith into action and thus prove to all the world that it is not dead. 

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