(Romans 5:1,2,7,8) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. ... For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Years ago I was deer hunting in a remote area with my usual success—none! The hunting lease was at least five miles from the nearest house. This was long before cell phones! As usual, I hunted until dark—I could not see. I had a long walk through the woods back to my truck. Upon arrival, I shockingly realized I had no key! There I was beside a huge machine. However, because I had no key, it was useless to me!

This morning as I started my truck after working out at a rehab gym, I again considered that small piece of metal that could bring a big machine to life. I probably had $50 of gasoline in the tank, a few miles of wiring, a six cylinder engine, air conditioning (yes, it is hot enough now to need it early in the morning), new tires, a radio, and hundreds of pounds of metal, plastic, and cloth before me. Yet, none of it worked without that small key. Again I sat in awe as I considered that such a small thing allowed such a complex machine to function. The key did not give the machine its potential. It merely allowed that potential to roar into usefulness.

Grace is a small word. Basically it shows kindness and consideration when there is no call for kindness and consideration. Yet, what potential it unleashes! A useless being roars to useful life because that small word grace is utilized. Examples? Consider:

1. A little encouragement can turn a person’s outlook around.
2. A little kindness can cause a person to replace worthlessness with worth.
3. A little thoughtfulness can move a lifeless person to discover life.
4. A little hope moves some from idle despair to successful effort.
1. A little discouragement causes a person to quit.
2. A little unkindness convinces a person he or she has no value.
3. A little thoughtlessness plunges a person to ‘the point of no return’ in the depths of lifelessness.
4. Hopeless words turn idle despair to utter despair.

Thank God for giving us Jesus Christ when we are not worth the cost! Thank You for seeing our potential when we saw none! Thank You for giving us life when we were truly lifeless. Without Your grace, we are nothing. May we give as we received!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 10 August 2006

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