We say all the right things in church and we sing all the right songs about God’s amazing grace and mercy. We preach and teach God’s compassion and great commitment to salvation. But I think we still have a hard time coming to grips with the reality of it all. The truth is that God’s grace really is amazing! It’s outrageous! It’s absurd! God’s grace is ridiculous! It’s unfounded! It’s unfair! It’s downright scandalous!
“How can I give you up? How can I hand you over? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger… For I am God, and not man — the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath.” ~Hosea 11:8-9
“Who is a God like you who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” ~Micah 7:18-19
Holy Scripture tells us that because of God’s determined persistence to save the lost, his merciful deliverance is available to all who will repent and call on the name of the Lord. He pours his outrageous grace on everybody! Not just Texans. Not just Americans. Not just people in the Church of Christ. God’s grace is not just for people who don’t have a criminal history. It’s not just for people with a high school education. It’s not only for people who’ve been relatively good for most of their lives. God’s outrageous, sin-forgiving, peace-bringing, grace-overflowing, eternal-life-pouring salvation is offered to every man and woman on this planet!
“He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” ~2 Peter 3:9
“Christ died for sins once for all.” ~1 Peter 3:18
“One died for all… He died for all… God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ.” ~2 Corinthians 5:14-19
His grace is outrageous because it’s poured out freely on murderous Ninevites and rebellious prophets alike. It’s out-of-control grace because God gives just as much to my sainted grandmother in Kilgore as he does to a sex offender in Dallas. It’s impossible-to-comprehend-grace because he extends the same amount to the person who baptized you as he does to a terrorist in Afghanistan.
Our merciful Father calls us to join him in his concern for all people. He calls us to be mediators of that ridiculous love and forgiveness.