Monday, August 31, 2009

2009 – Day 242.Aug 31 – Needed Grace

Passage of the Day: Job 15 … Linked for study …

My Journal for Today:
Chuck Swindoll closes his devotional entry today with the words from John Newton’s wonderful hymn, “Amazing grace – how sweet the sound.” But that’s certainly not what we read from the words of Eliphaz to Job in today’s highlight passage. No, Eliphaz now gets downright hostile in his tone toward the same man whom he had grieved with and sat with patiently just a few days earlier.

It’s remarkable to me how human feelings and understanding can be so fickle. At one time the three “friends” of Job had been so patient and loving and seemingly supportive; but then in their advice and counsel with Job, they seem to turn into graceless ogres. It is so, so true that we all need God’s grace; and this would especially be true when we are hit with a series of calamities like those which Job was enduring. But here are Job’s close friends somehow blinded to what he needs, trying to give him a pompous set of dogmatic reasons why Job is going through these trials. Job needs grace; and all he gets from his “friends” is folly.

We need to remember that the person we sit next to in the pew at church may be going through trials about which we have no clue; and what they need is grace, not groundless information on social doctrine or speculations about why God does what He does. That dear one needs grace. And if I read the truth of Romans 3: 23 correctly, we “are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God.” Therefore, we ALL need God’s grace. How and when and to whom God gives it out is God’s business. So, … when we need grace; and we humble ourselves before our loving and merciful God, as Job was doing, God’s agents of grace, His church, needs to be there to help our suffering friends, doling out as much of His grace as we can.

So, when you need God’s grace, be willing to set aside pride and ask God and your friends for grace. When you see someone needing grace, give grace. How much intelligence would it take you, seeing Job’s loss and his horrible pain, physical and emotional, to see that he needed grace, not explanations, and certainly not harsh accusations as we read from Eliphaz in today’s passage.

Now I remember why I like to call these three pseudo friends of Job “the three stooges.” I don’t claim to know God’s full intent when He, the Holy Spirit, guides His writers to tell the stories of the Bible. And I may be a bit pompous to say that it seems clear to me that God is giving us examples of the exact opposite of grace in Job’s three companions. This, to me, is a lesson which screams, “Don’t do it this way, fool!”

So, from this I learn to ask God to give me the sensitivity to see when a friend needs grace; and then to dole it out as much as I’m capable of giving it. And then, … to give even more grace; because there’s just no giving too much when it comes to being the agent of grace for God.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, bless me by being able to give Your grace to someone today who needs it. Amen

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