Grace is an amazing word to know for living today. Looking into my Nave’s Topical Bible, I found many verses that use the word, but I would like to share a parable that illustrates its meaning. The word has evolved in today’s language to mean forgiveness, blessing, or just to give someone a break. We use the word in our Church name, “Grace Harvest Church” and before this we were called, “Grace Chapel”. So we have always liked the name, mainly because we were in such need of it. When I looked up the verses from my Topical Bible in the Amplified Version, the word was translated as, “state of favor”. So to be in God’s grace or to have grace is to be in a state of favor with God. This is where I want to be. We men spend a lot of time trying to gain the favor of our Fathers, but in the end we realize that favor from our Heavenly Father is the only favor we need.
“23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, 'Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, and ‘Pay me what you owe!' 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?' 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."
The servant left the king feeling pretty good and went straight to another servant who owed him a little bit of money which was nowhere near the amount he had owed the king. He grabbed him and tried to get the money out of him. His answer was to sell the man as a slave to cover the debt. Sounds familiar? The king heard of this and brought the servant back and gave him a real talking to. He had lost the favor of the king. Now if only the servant had received the grace of the king and let it change his heart to become a compassionate servant just as the King was compassionate, things would have been different. He stomped on the grace given him by the king. When the king forgave him his debt, someone was going to have to pay the debt, it was owed. Who paid? The King did. The servant’s grace was very expensive but he had made it cheap. This brings up a phrase coined by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Cheap Grace”.