Friday, November 25, 2011

Shared Grace

All of you share in God's grace with me...

I must be honest, I tend to be a critical person.  I am an analyzer.  I look at people and circumstances, and judge how they could have been handled better.  I notice when someone messes up, when people fall short...

...and especially when people don't do it as good as I could have done it.

Yes, I am critical, and that is why Paul's words in Philippians are so crucial for me to hear.

All of you share in God's grace with me...

The context here is thanksgiving.  Paul is thankful for the people of Philippians.  He is thankful for them.  He is not thankful because they are with him in his jail cell--they aren't there.  He is not thankful for their tireless work to get him out of his cell--they have no power to do it.  He isn't thankful for them because of any benefit to himself.

Thanksgiving, after all, is about shared blessing, not about personal gain.

Paul is thankful because these men and women of God share the same grace that Paul does.

Grace that forgives

Grace that empowers

Grace that unites

We too share this grace.  As Christians, I do not own grace, but share its blessings as it is bestowed from the source of grace--Jesus Christ.

Lord, never let my thanksgiving be selfish again, but be filled with the attitude of humility shown by Jesus Christ, the Grace Giver.

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