Ever since I first heard the Christmas story and understood what it really meant to me personally, as a little girl of four, I accepted Jesus into my heart all by myself. I had a dream that my heart was black, but then as I watched in my dream, I saw it turn as white as snow, as red washed over it. The next morning, I knelt by myself at a little rocking chair that my dad had made and I asked Jesus to come into my heart. I felt Jesus washing my heart as white as snow, just like my dream. Then I ran to tell my mom and Dad that I asked Jesus into my heart. They were really happy.
I knew then that about grace, because my Dad taught me to read at four years of age, and he constantly reinforced that fact that Jesus forgave my sins because of His grace and I didn't have to be afraid that He was holding them against me.
I grew up in such freedom from fear of making mistakes, unlike many of my friends who didn't realize the truth and freedom of grace.
Reading this week about Onesimus, who ran away from his master, taking things with him that he had stolen, but then finding Christ through Paul's ministry was such a beautiful picture once again of precious grace in action.
Paul in sending a letter to Philemon states that Onesimus has become like a son to him and has taken Philemon's place in helping Paul out. He says he will pay for whatever amount needed for the time that Onesimus was gone from his master and even for what he took.
This gave such a picture of grace for all to see, an living illustration of what Christ did for us when he paid the price for our sins by giving His life. Onesimus's name means useful, but he had become useless when he ran away. Now Paul says he is once again useful, and he wishes so much that he could keep him with him, but only with Philemon's permission.
I love the fact that Onesimus had become part of Paul's own heart. That's what grace does for all of us. Turns slaves into sons, slavery into freedom! And it's all because of grace. I encourage all of us to once again kneel down at our rocking chairs, and ask God to give us his direction in carrying His marvelous grace to a world in slavery and sadness.
We can turn the light on in people's lives and break the chains that bind them, with one touch of the Master's grace...the blood of Jesus. We can bring grace now to everyone we meet. How exciting is that.
Our hope in Christ is sealed forever by His love and His grace.
Let's go for it!