Do you remember when you became a teenager? Having reached his teen years, author Charles Swindoll thought he was pretty hot stuff. His father, however, saw a healthy young man who wasn't too old to come outside and help with some yard work. Swindoll's father asked, "Charles, come out and help me weed the garden." Swindoll answered, "No! It's my birthday, remember?"
Swindoll writes, "My tone was sassy and my deliberate lack of respect was eloquent. I knew better than to disobey my dad, but after all, I was the ripe old age of 13. (My dad) set a new 100-meter record...he was in the house and all over me like white on rice, spanking me all the way out to the garden. As I recall, I weeded until the moonlight was shining on the pansies."
Did Swindoll's disobedience put the kibosh on his birthday? He writes: "That same night (my dad) took me out to a surprise dinner. He gave me what I deserved earlier. Later he gave me what I did not deserve. The birthday dinner was grace."
There are few verses in the Bible that better describe what grace is than Paul's wonderful words in Ephesians 2:8-9: For it it by grace that you have been saved through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works so that no one can boast.
Getting what we don't deserve. That's grace - free, unmerited, undeserved. Praise God for His grace!