The Orphan who received Grace
Before I go into the story of how the orphan child received and accepted grace, please allow me a moment of preamble. I have been quiet these last few weeks mainly because I have been very busy and pre-occupied in the physical and God has been (as usual) doing some much needed work on me in the spiritual. As this is the season for giving, I really wanted to share some of the gifts that the Lord has given me which have blessed me incredibly and which I hope will bless and encourage you to. So for the next few weeks, I would like to encourage you with these lessons and hopefully help you start the New Year more empowered to live according to God’s will for your life.
Well, one grey winter Saturday I decided to pick up a book that I had found lying around called ‘Healing Grace’ by David Seamonds which got me thinking about grace, what it is and why we need it. On “googling” what the scripture said about grace, I came across an article with various definitions of the word grace or the Greek charis and its use in the NT. I began to think to myself; Grace, what does grace mean to me? You may have noticed that I often ask myself such rhetorical questions; this is because it helps me clarify a concept in my mind and so own it. I have often heard people speak about grace, and there is that well known hymn, “Amazing Grace”, it is held to be the opposite of works and it is most frequently defined as “God’s unmerited favour”. But what does grace truly and really mean to me?
According to Thayer there are 4 meanings of grace found in the NT:
- The proper meaning of grace which is that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm and loveliness. E.g. Ephesians 4:29, col 4:6 , Luke 4:22
- The more widely accepted definition of grace as goodwill, favour and loving-kindness as seen in Eph 2: 4-9.
- Grace as benefit and or/blessings e.g. James 4:6
- Grace as thanks or gratitude 2 Tim 1:3
|KJV (156) – favour, 6; grace, 130; misc, 7; pleasure, 2; thank, 4; thank + (2192), 3; thanks, 4;|
So I need to ask myself the question again, what does grace mean to me? I think I would have to go with the first definition of grace, as something which ultimately brings the person joy. No matter which definition you take they ultimately boil down to one thing, God’s gift of grace gives the bearer immense spirit-filled joy simply because we are brought into deep and intimate communion with Him through the birth, death and resurrection of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach. So this is where I begin my story, the story is centred on two people, the orphan child (OC) and the child of the King (KC).
KC meets the Orphan sitting alone, looking alone and lost.
KC: Approaching gently. Hello, are you OK?
(Orphan does not look up but simply shrugs. KC takes a seat next to him.)
What is your name? Where do you come from?
(OC looks up surprised that the other child has stopped to talk to him. )
Orphan: My name is David.
KC: in confusion. David who?
Orphan: I don’t know, I don’t belong to anyone, I am all alone and lost in the world. No body loves me and no one cares.
KC: That surely can’t be true, I’m sure someone must want you.
Orphan: No! I have had to learn to struggle to get by; I have done horrible things that I’m not proud of in order to survive. I am so tired of living, I am tired of my life, and I have nothing and no one to live for.
KC: No you are wrong, I know you are wrong.
OC: How? (in confusion and agitation) What do you mean?
KC: Let me tell you a story. (The King’s child begins the story)
It won’t take you much to imagine an orphan just like you, someone who had very little experience of love and happiness and who spent most of their time living in darkness and despair. Well, one day this orphan found out that they were not really an orphan and that somewhere they had a parent who loved them very much and had been wanting to be with them but couldn’t because there were so many obstacles in the way. The child longed to meet their parent, but there was nothing that they could do to find them no matter how hard they tried.
It finally came to pass that the orphan was able to meet their parent; you can imagine how happy the once-orphan child was when they saw their parent with love shining from their eyes and arms open-wide to finally embrace them. Imagine the immense joy that child felt when once in the arms of their much-yearned after parent, who held them close and whispered cleansing words of love and forgiveness over them. Imagine the many, many hours of intimate and loving conversations that they shared with one another then and thereafter. Finally, imagine that the child is you and the parent is God.
Orphan: What are you trying to tell me?
KC: The bible tells us that Jesus said: “I will not leave you as orphans”. Prior to the death and resurrection of Yeshua, we have all been as spiritual orphans in the sense that we have been deprived of parental care and we have not been adopted. Do you remember the obstacles I mentioned in the story that the child couldn’t overcome to be with their parent?
KC: When Jesus rose from the dead, all the legal barriers that prevented the child from being with God were no longer valid. God is now able to find His children wherever they may be and love them as freely as any good parent would, He is able to teach them and admonish them in order to make them wise and knowledgeable. But most importantly Jesus’ death enables us to come into God’s presence for the first time, to sit down with Him, talk to Him, listen to Him, and share. Laugh, cry and dance with Him. To hold Him, cherish, respect, love and adore Him. Through Jesus we have been given grace, and grace is the door which opens endless opportunities of joy with God as our Father.
Orphan: With uncertain hope. That really does sound amazing, too good for someone like me.
KC: But, you see it’s not. I have grace with me; I have been looking for someone just like you to share it with. Holds out a small beautifully wrapped boxed-gift. This is for you, will you accept it?
Orphan: In hope and dread. I would love too, but I’m afraid. I’ve never been given a gift before, how do I receive it? How should I open it, how do I use it, how should I care for it?
KC: Sighing. I never told you the entire story. You see I was the orphan-child who found God. Everything starts and ends with Jesus, because God so loved the world that He gave of Himself that He might be born, live and die for you and I to finally find our Father. God has given me a new name, I am Achama bat Elohim, daughter of God. To me accepting God’s grace is as simple as knowing, accepting and embracing the fact that I have been legally taken into God’s family. I am His child and He is my Father, Abba. As Yeshua promised, I am now no longer an orphan; I have a Father, a Brother, a family and an inheritance.
Orphan: I think I believe you, I will take the gift of grace from you but I won’t open it.
KC: Then you haven’t accepted it for your own because you have not accepted the truth that you belong to God’s family.
OC: Ok, I will open it but I won’t touch it, I’ll just look at it from a distance.
KC: I’m afraid that won’t work either.
OC: Why not?
KC: Even though you have accepted and opened the gift, you do not allow it to touch you, you remain on the outside, then you may as well remain an orphan.
OC: No, no… I want to belong. Help me to know what I should do.
KC: In order for us to truly accept grace we need to embrace the fact that we are no longer alone and that we are really and truly children of the King. We need to begin to take pride and joy that He has found us and that we are now reconciled with Him instead of living as if we are still orphans. We need to spend time with Him getting to know Him, what He likes and what He doesn’t so that we can please Him and so that He can help us grow. We need to accept and love our new family, taking time to help one another and teach one another. We need to keep our eyes focused on the inheritance that our Father has left for us. We need to love and serve the one who gave us life. It is not a simple answer, it is something that I am still learning myself, but since we are to be brother and sister let us help one another. Ok?
OC: OK! (David takes accepts and receives the gift of Grace)
KC: Standing up and taking David by the hand Ok, David ben Elohim let’s go, Father is waiting for you.
Scripture for Contemplation Titus 3: 4-7
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Be blessed today with the knowledge that you are a Child of God and that we have been adopted into God’s family. We are brothers and sister’s in Christ, we are part of a loving family that spans the whole world.
The Orphan who received Grace by Florence A. Ukpabi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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This week I am linking up with Joan at Grace Cafe, see you there.