You don’t deserve the grace of the Lord. Neither do I. Nor does anyone else. According to scripture, our default heart setting is anti-God, opposed to Him on every level. We deserve the punishment He described in the oldest writings of scripture, the worst of which is eternal separation from Him.
This verse is from Luke’s writing about the meeting the apostles had with the leaders of the Church in Jerusalem. There was an uproar about some of the apostles sharing the Good News with non-Jews. The Jew-turned-Christian leadership said the message of the gospel was only for God’s Chosen People: The Jews. Those people didn’t deserve the Good News! The apostles disagreed with that thinking.
There is much about what we deserve in our culture today. More than half the ads you see each day (which can be upward of 5,000) talk bout how you deserve whatever their product delivers. You deserve that new car with all the bells and whistles. You deserve that new phone, that new computer, that new deodorant, that new Medicare plan. You DESERVE it! And don’t get me started on political messages…
These make it seem like no matter the cost, we should have that product. No matter the cost.
Deserve means to be worthy of or to earn by service. Too often we think deserve means we’re supposed to have that thing as a benefit of breathing. Without cost. Without effort.
Cultural shifts can twist truth.
We who are believers are called to stick with Truth no matter the culture, times, or circumstances.
Peter’s message to the Church leaders that day were that none of them deserved the priceless gift of salvation in Jesus, thus they were no higher or lower than the people they were trying to withhold the gospel from. He declared that the apostles believed that every person who would be saved would be saved the same way, by the grace of the Lord. Undeserved. Unearned. Unworthy1.
Upon recognizing the truth of Peter’s words, the Church sent out missionaries to the non-Jews to share the Good News of Jesus’ sacrifice for them, gladly sharing the gift. We should be doing the same. We should be sharing the gift of salvation with them. You know, those people who don’t deserve our time or effort. Those people who don’t listen. Those people who don’t talk right or follow the rules. You know… THEM.
We must realize that we are no more holy or deserving of God’s grace than they are. Remember? Our default heart position is anti-God. Thankfully, upon salvation, God has installed a new heart within us and has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us. Our part is to listen to Him and do what He says.
Let’s be cognizant of our tendencies as we look around us today. Who do we see that we can strike up a conversation with? Who do we see that needs encouragement? Then, upon the Spirit’s prompting, we need to get to work building a relationship with them, sharing the undeserved grace of the Lord that we have experienced.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
1. Unworthy here is not describing you as a person. It is describing the position you hold as the definition of deserve. You are not worthy of God’s grace, yet He gives it to you. You are deemed worthy by God in that He offers this gift to you.