Grace ~ the Story of Christmas

15 Dec

A man dies and goes to heaven. St. Peter meets him at the pearly gates. St. Peter says, “Here’s PearlyGates_SortOfhow it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you’ve done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in.”

“Okay.” the man says, “I attended church every Sunday.”

“That’s good,” says St. Peter. “That’s worth two points”

“Two points?” he says. “Well, I gave 10% of all my earnings to the church.”

“Well, let’s see,” answers Peter. “That’s worth another two points. Did you do anything else?”

“Two points? How about this: I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans.”

“Fantastic! That’s certainly worth a point, ” he says.

“Hmmm…,” the man says, “I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart.”

“That’s wonderful!” says St. Peter. “That’s worth three points!”

“THREE POINTS!” the man cries, “At this rate the only way I get into heaven is by the grace of God!”

“Come on in!” said St. Peter. *

I (Dawn) don’t really need to say any more, do I? I laugh at that and then go, “Oooo,” because in spite of the humor, there’s still an element of truth at the end!

Grace is the story behind and the story of Christmas.

  • Grace does not depend on the good works of man (Ephesians 2:8-9), but wholly on the lovingkindness of God (1 John 4:19). The words “salvation by grace” are precious words to the sinner. Grace is the sweet, totally sovereign favor and work of God in the heart of a sinner who does not deserve any favor at all.
  • God’s grace works in us to deliver us from condemnation, eternal punishment, guilt, and separation from God (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23; John 3:16-18; Romans 8:1).
  • Because Jesus came, God was able to justify us by His grace through our faith in the atoning (forgiving or pardoning) death of Jesus (1 John 4:10; Romans 3:23-25; 4:5, 22-25).

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,” says Titus 2:11. One of my favorite Christmas ornaments says, “When a man reaches for God, we call it religion. When God reaches down to man, we call it Christmas.” We also call it grace!

God’s grace is a gift to us, and not just at Christmas. His grace saves us, but it also teaches us how to live and it changes our hearts. He sanctifies us so that we act more like Jesus.  And God’s grace gives us hope for the future as well as peace in our hearts today.

Are you thankful for God’s grace? If you are, take a moment to sing a stanza or two of the old hymn, “Amazing Grace” right now! It’s truly amazing.

And you won’t have to play any games at the pearly gates to get in, if you have it!

* “100 Points to Get to Heaven,” http://www.christian-jokes.net/

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