“We are saved by faith alone [not our works], but not by faith that remains alone. Nothing we do can merit God’s grace and favor, we can only believe that he has given it to us in Jesus Christ and receive it by faith. But if we truly believe and trust in the one who sacrificially served us, it changes us into people who sacrificially serve God and our neighbors.” Tim Keller

How many times do we hide in ourselves and our correct behavior that we forget that Grace has found us and calls us to live in Him? The older son became so focused on doing the right thing that his actions weren’t a result of his understanding of grace but a merit system. When he saw his father run to the younger son, embrace him and prepare a feast the only appropriate answer was anger at the injustice. The younger brother had brought shame unto their family. In that cultural context not only had the younger brother abandoned the family he had basically told the father he wished he was dead so that he could get his inheritance. The older brother watched this all happen and continued his duty of working. He did not extend grace to the younger brother in going out to find him and bring him home.

How many times as Christians do we look at people outside the church as “outsiders” or “the other”? Do we tend to continue our works to get points in the merit system or do we recognize the grace God has given us daily, and extend it to those around us? We should not consider ourselves as higher than others but display grace with open arms. Who has God placed around you so that you can take that step of displaying grace? Who is your younger brother that God has called you to love and embrace? Ask God this week to reveal a person to you that needs the reminder that God grants us grace and that His mercies are new each morning.

Lillian Arjona Garzon
Community Engagement Director

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