“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me” (Philippians 1:3-7 ).
While I’m not a big dessert eater, I recently shared a piece of cake with my wife. Have you ever done that? You divide it up, cutting it in half. In this case we were not that careful in dividing up the portions. This particular piece of cake was so big there was plenty for both of us and then some.
Had the serving of cake been smaller, I might have gone to great lengths measuring to make sure I got my half of the cake and not a crumb less. But there was so much cake we both knew there was no way we could eat it all. We shared. Plenty for me. Plenty for her.
God generously pours out His grace on us and when He does, I devour it. And I have noticed that you do, too. Sometimes I think you consume it with little regard for me and my portion. In fact, sometimes I wonder if you don’t get more than your share.
Other times I leave little for you and I let you know it. I devour grace, every tasty morsel, but I have none for you. My sins are covered, all of them – my sloppy discipleship, my mixed motives, my harsh words, my vengeful spirit, and my holier-than-thou attitude. But you? Forget it! There’s no grace left for your lustful heart, your confused doctrine, your impure worship, your empty promises, or your smart remarks.
We forget the blood of Jesus serves up more grace than we could ever consume. And when we forget that, we work hard to measure it out. We mark off our portion. We consume. Yet we deny others what we have wolfed down. And so we point fingers, throw insults, apply labels, call names, broadcast suspicions, and assign destinies.
When we pause long enough to remember the blood of Jesus, we realize there is enough grace to go around. Plenty for me. Plenty for you. And that changes everything about us. Suddenly you bring me joy instead of rivalry. Our memories evoke thankfulness rather than resentment. We experience partnership instead of competition. I consider you with confidence in God’s continuing work rather than disgust and judgment for your shortcomings. You are in my heart instead of on my nerves. Sharing God’s grace means recognizing we share our basic sinfulness and our divine salvation.
Whatever happens, can we at least share God’s grace?