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This thing called ‘Grace’

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 9:28 a.m. CDT

Three Bible characters: Joseph, Moses and David.

As a teenager, Joseph was given a raw deal by his brothers, followed by several other events that could have caused him to “throw in the towel,” yet God was faithful to him throughout the years and eventually led him to a position of greatness.

Joseph’s circumstances were foisted upon him. He didn’t ask for any of them. All he was doing was following his dream. But, what about the self-created circumstances? Is God still faithful to us through those?

Consider Moses. Moses was born at a time when the king of the land had issued an order to have all of the baby boys killed. The king was worried about reports of a new leader rising up. Moses’ mother learned of this and took some extraordinary steps to protect her son. Ironically, Moses ended up at the king’s palace where the king’s daughter found him and took the responsibility to raise him.

Moses grew to manhood, all the time knowing that he was a Hebrew and not an Egyptian. One day he was out walking and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew man. Moses became angry and killed the Egyptian. This was eventually found out and he had to flee the country. There were many more events, but eventually Moses became the leader of Israel and led them out of Egypt and to the land God had promised them.

Then, there’s David. David was a shepherd boy who became king (too long a story to tell here). As king, David was a great leader and warrior, leading the army on great exploits. But, one day, while the army was at war, David was out walking on the rooftop of the palace when he saw a woman bathing on the rooftop next door — and David liked what he saw.

So, he sent for the woman, and eventually he slept with her. She became pregnant, and now he had to do something. So, he summoned the woman’s husband home from the battle in hopes that he would sleep with his wife, and then think the child was theirs. Long story short, that didn’t work. So David sent the husband back to war with a note to the captain that said, “Put this guy out front when the battle is most fierce.” He, essentially, sent the man back to war with his own death orders.

So let’s see, Moses committed murder. David lusted after a woman he wasn’t married to, committed adultery with her and then had her husband killed. Bad things, to be sure. But, there’s a difference between what these two did and what happened to Joseph: Joseph’s problems came from outside. Moses’ and David’s problems were self-created — they made the choices to do what they did, bringing the problems on themselves.

But, catch this: God raised Moses up to be a great leader in Israel. Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt and delivered the 10 Commandments (remember Charlton Heston?). And David? David was one of the best kings Israel ever had. Here’s what God said about him: “I have found that David, son of Jesse, is a man after my own heart.”

How is that possible? It’s possible because of one word: Grace. Both David and Moses went to God and asked for His forgiveness. And God gave it. Why? Because that’s what God does. He’s in the business of forgiving people and helping them turn their lives around.

Maybe, like Joseph, you’ve faced troubles that weren’t your fault. Or, you may be like Moses and David and you’ve faced troubles because of bad choices you’ve made. I have.

If that’s you, let me encourage you to go to God and ask Him to forgive you and help you get your life together and back on track. The Bible says this: God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong. There’s a powerful word there — see it? He cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong. Hey, if He can forgive Moses and David He can forgive you.

And when He does, look out, .He may just put you someplace incredible and use you to do some pretty great things!

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