Grace Makes You Want To Give
Though there are a lot of reasons that NBA star LeBron James has been in the news lately the one that struck me as most amazing was his work in opening a new school. Athletic talent like his is incredibly rare but in my opinion his generosity is even more so. Before he became a big name he had a very difficult childhood, being raised by a single mom in rough neighborhoods. It is this background that made him want to help at-risk youth in his hometown of Akron, OH. Benefits of his school include high quality education, an on-site food bank, every student gets a free bike, free tuition to college, and job placement services for parents. Things like this make a celebrity worth looking up to!
As I was reading an article about this school I couldn’t help but think about how much God’s grace is supposed to change us. We came from a miserable spiritual poverty. We were so low that we were in fact slaves to sin. Without the help of Christ our final outcome would be death (for more on this read Romans 6). When we consider our place in God’s family and His Kingdom then all we can say is “thank you.” It s because of how much of privilege and opportunity that I have been given that I ought to want to be a giving person in return. This is in fact exactly what the book of Romans argues!
In the first half of the book of Romans the emphasis is on our sinfulness and inability to help ourselves, as well as the great gift and love of Christ (Romans 1-11). The second half is all about what we give back because of what we have been given. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2). The rest of the chapter goes on to describe what our sacrifice looks like. We are to serve, teach, exhort, lead, and show mercy in faithful ways. We are to put all others before ourselves. We are to show consideration not just for brothers and sisters in Christ but also for our enemies. As the recipients of grace our lives should be completely transformed in thought, speech, and action. And how could these things not change if we truly understand how much we have been given? Thanks be to God for His gift, let’s make it the gift that keeps on giving!