Joseph's life offers us a magnificent portrayal of the grace of God as He came to our rescue in the Person of His Son, Jesus. So many come to Him, like Joseph's guilty brothers, feeling the distance and fearing the worst from God, only to have Him demonstrate incredible generosity and mercy. Instead of being blamed, we are forgiven. Instead of feeling guilty, we are freed. And instead of experiencing punishment, which we certainly deserve, we are seated at His table and served more than we can ever take in.
For some, it's too unreal. So we desperately plead our case, only to have Him speak kindly to us — promising us peace in our own language. We then try to fend off His anger by bargaining with Him, thinking our hard work and sincere efforts will pay Him back for all those evil past deeds we're guilty of. But to our astonishment, He never even considered our attempts important enough to mention. What we had in mind was earning just enough to silence our guilt, but what He had in mind was overwhelming us with such an abundance we'd realize we can never, ever repay.
What a beautiful picture of Christ at the cross, bearing the sins we committed, forgiving us in the process. Isn't such grace amazing? The One who was rejected is the same One who goes the limit to get us reunited with Him.
Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him. (Isaiah 30:18)
Do you long for Him? I've got great news! In an even greater way — greater than you could ever imagine — He longs to be gracious to you. He is offering you all the things you hunger for. The table is loaded, and He is smiling, waiting for you to sit down and enjoy the feast He prepared with you in mind. Have a seat — grace is being served.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, "A Reflection of Christ," in Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005), 29. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
A confronter’s responsibility is not easy to fulfill. Comforting the afflicted calls for compassion . . . afflicting the comfortable requires courage.
Reaching out to comfort the hurting and the broken is an act of mercy, often requested and nearly always appreciated. But stepping into someone’s private world, where there’s been wrongdoing, is rarely requested and nearly always resisted.
In this sermon on 2 Samuel 12:1–14, the story of Nathan’s confrontation of King David, Pastor Chuck Swindoll teaches us that it’s a scriptural mandate to confront sin and that God calls us to do so with an end-goal not merely to rebuke but to restore.All Sermons by Chuck Swindoll