Grace is a big concept in a little word. I was preparing a sermon the other day as I track my way through Jonah, one of the Old Testament prophets, and came across a provoking statement.
In the NIV it reads "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs."
I am sure we can all point to "worthless idols" that we cling to or at least used to cling to - money, property, job, health, sex, etc. etc. etc. but I wonder if the import of Jonah's prayer is missed as we scan these verses - looking at salvation and considering how he could be in a fish.
We, that is the Church that has Jesus as its Lord and saviour, have a command to follow - to tell the world about salvation and so God's grace. A costly grace for Christ and a costly grace for us as we are called to sacrifice time, energy, emotions and love in telling others of Jesus. The Acronym God's Riches At Christ's Expense is often cited when Christian talk about grace, I wonder if having received that grace, the church should consider reflecting this to God's Riches At the Churches Expense when considering what having received that grace should mean to us in telling the world?
If we don't tell folks who don't know of the this grace, how will they know and following false gods they will miss this incredible grace from God. The folks on Jonahs boat were in awe of Jonah's God once he explained what was happening and were saved by Jonah's being sacrificed. A lesson for us all I think.
Read on in Jonah there is a wonderful twist at the end and a comment from God which calls me to action, since he is my God and he has commanded me to tell others. God has an endless supply of grace which he pours out on his people so that they can in turn reflect that grace to those who don't know of it.