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by Max Lucado
I was mulling over a recent conversation I had with a disenchanted Christian brother. He was upset with me. So upset that he was considering rescinding his invitation for me to speak to his group. Seems he’d heard I was pretty open about who I have fellowship with. He’d read the words I wrote: “If God calls a person his child, shouldn’t I call him my brother?” And, “If God accepts others with their errors and misinterpretations, shouldn’t we?"
He didn’t like that. “Carrying it a bit too far,” he told me. “Fences are necessary,” he explained. “Scriptures are clear on such matters.” He read me a few and then urged me to be careful to whom I give grace.
“I don’t give it,” I assured. “I only spotlight where God already has.”
Later I had a great thought. A why-didn’t-I-think-to-say-that? insight.
If the subject resurfaces, I’ll say it. But in case it doesn’t, I’ll say it to you. (It’s too good to waste.) Just one sentence:
I’ve never been surprised by God’s judgment, but I’m still stunned by his grace.
Story after story. Prayer after prayer. Surprise after surprise.
Seems that God is looking more for ways to get us home than for ways to keep us out. I challenge you to find one soul who came to God seeking grace and did not find it. Search the pages. Read the stories. Envision the encounters. Find one person who came seeking a second chance and left with a stern lecture. I dare you. Search.
You won’t find it.
Seems to me God gives a lot more grace than we’d ever imagine.
We could do the same.
I’m not for watering down the truth or compromising the gospel. But if a fellow with a pure heart calls God Father, can’t I call that same man Brother? If God doesn’t make doctrinal perfection a requirement for family membership, should I?
And if we never agree, can’t we agree to disagree? If God can tolerate my mistakes, can’t I tolerate the mistakes of others? If God can overlook my errors, can’t I overlook the errors of others? If God allows me with my foibles and failures to call him Father, shouldn’t I extend the same grace to others?
One thing’s for sure. When we get to heaven, we’ll be surprised at some of the folks we see. And some of them will be surprised to see us.
From When God Whispers Your Name
Copyright 1994, Max Lucado
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