Your free gift

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.— Romans 3:23–24

A story is told about Fiorello La Guardia when he was a judge before becoming mayor of New York. In the height of the Great Depression, a woman came into his courtroom who had been arrested for stealing a loaf of bread.

The case was clear cut. The woman was guilty. But she stole the bread because her family was hungry. Perplexed at what he should do, a thought occurred to the judge.

“Madam,” said La Guardia, “I have no choice but to fine you ten dollars for your crime.” At that moment, the judge stood up, walked around to the front of the bench, pulled a $10 bill out of his pocket, and set it on the table in front of the bailiff.

“But I’d like to pay your fine for you.”

Grace is a powerful force. Judge La Guardia could have easily had the woman arrested for not being able to pay the fine. But instead, he chose to show grace along with justice in that moment.

In Christ, God has given us much more than we deserve. Our sin earns us condemnation – and rightly so. But through faith in Jesus, we are forgiven and made children of God!

Our debt is much greater than a mere $10. But there is one who paid it all – and who gives us an eternal reward instead of condemnation!

Prayer Challenge

Thank God today for the gift of grace you’ve been given in Christ!

Questions for thought

How does it make you feel that God both forgave your sin and gave you the gift of eternal life?

In what ways does receiving such a powerful gift change the way you live?