You will never have a day so bad
that you are beyond the reach
of God’s Grace.
You will never have a day so good
that you are beyond the need
of God’s Grace.
— Jerry Bridges
As the day dawned it found this man in the grip of the icy fingers of fear. He had doubtless slept little the night before on the cold prison floor. During that night he would have remembered the past with guilt and shame. He had no hope for tomorrow. His trial had been swift; the sentence given from which there could be no appeal. Early in the morning he was led outside the city, where along with two others, his arms and legs were stretched out and fastened to a rough piece of wood and then dropped into a hole in the earth, suspending him above the ground. In between gasping efforts to breathe, he began to listen to a voice like none other he had ever heard. A man, who like himself on a cross, was yet unlike him in His words to others. “Father, forgive them.” “Here is your son.” “Here is your mother.” Fastened to his own cross was the charge against him: “Robber.” Fastened to this Man’s cross was the charge against Him. “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” He knew that he was being crucified for what he had done, but that this Man was being crucified for Who He was. As he watched and listened, the Grace of God began to do its work in his life. The gospel of Luke tells us that this man acknowledged his guilt; placed his trust in Jesus; and then heard the words, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” What had been up to that point the worst day in his life now also became the best day of his life as he spent the evening and the rest of eternity with the Lord. Hebrews 4:16 states, ”Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” The phrase “in time of need” is a Greek expression which may also be translated “in the nick of time.” We will never have a day so bad that we are beyond the reach of God’s Grace, even if it comes just in the nick of time.
This next man is one about whom we know a great deal. He was among the most blessed people that we find in all of the scriptures. He had sought God and God had answered him. He had learned to trust God in many situations for many years. Life had been a challenge, but now things were different. He had achieved a position in life where he did not need to answer to any other human authority. There was opportunity to rest and let others shoulder some of his responsibilities for a change. One evening he went for a walk and happened to see his neighbor’s wife taking a bath. You know the rest of the story. David’s sin with Bathsheba, the death of their first son, the death of Uriah, the sword never departing from his house (as foretold by Nathan the prophet) all occurred as David did not avail himself of God’s grace in that moment of lustful desire. All that God had previously done in and through him did not place him beyond the need of God’s grace at that moment. Titus 2:11-12 states, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” Ray Stedman once commented on the song entitled, ”I Need Thee Every Hour,” saying that every hour was not often enough. It should be “I Need Thee Every Second!”
Romans 5:2 relates that we have “access by faith into this grace.” II Peter 3:18 admonishes us to “grow in grace.” II Timothy 2:1 tells us to be “strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” Leroy Eims once mentioned that mercy is God not giving us that which we have coming to us, and that grace is God giving us that which we have no right to expect. To grow in grace is to grow in dependence upon Him. To be “strong in grace” is to look to the Lord for His moment by moment direction, care and control of our lives. It is to understand what Paul states in II Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
May we, conscious of weakness, continually look to His grace in our lives, which will always be sufficient. We will never be beyond the reach of God’s Grace or beyond the need of God’s Grace.
In Christ, Richard Spann