It is so vital that we think with grace and have the fruit of grace thinking in our lives.
I'm reading this morning and recoiling at some of the things I'm reading because I see a progression I don't like but it is one I need to understand.
"When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully." - Mark 12:2-4 ESV
"He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard." - Mark 12:6-8 ESV
These passages are conveying a principle and it is a very convicting one. If we do not think in grace we will eventually, either in a passive or active way, be in rebellion to bonafide authority then that rebellion will turn into a competition. In that competition atrocities big and small can be justified.
"And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away. And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk." - Mark 12:12-13 ESV
Jesus' parable did reflect the history of Israel and it did expose the thinking of those religious people but exposing that thinking did not resolve the issue. Competition just doubles down when exposed.
Grace is unlike any other treasure. When you have it in abundance you just want to give it away.
I was thinking about the servant sent by the master as a person in need or a wounded person. It is not a hard stretch. They are just people doing their job to come collect something. If they don't get what they were sent for it complicates their life. They have to go away empty handed and face the authority who sent them and explain the situation.
Is there fruit in my vineyard for hurting people. I want there to be because those 'servants' are going to keep on coming as life goes on and what will I do when I meet them? Will I say, 'Why are they coming to me anyway? Let them go to someone else.' or will I have grace in my life.
People need the fruit of grace thinking. They don't even know they are sent by God to get it from us. They are just living their lives doing the best that they can trying to survive.
Our minds are God's vineyard. It is His possession. We are stewards.
Can we see everyone who comes to us as a person sent by God to Get some grace?
Our boss... our child... our wife... our husband... the hurting person... the homeless person (who really should be out working somewhere)... do we bang them on the head or do we give them the fruit that has been growing in our vineyard?
Help us God. Really... We need it. Seed our garden and water it. Give us a bumper crop of grace. Let competition and rebellion born of wounds be a thing of the past in our lives. Grow grace in us. Establish our hearts in it more and more so that gracious words are on our lips that point people to You and what you have done on behalf of all mankind.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." - John 3:16-17 KJV