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Grace Happens

For the grace of God teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.  Titus 2:11-12

Photo courtesy of pixabay.Busted! I knew he was coming after me as soon as I saw him turn on the flashing lights and pull up behind my car.

Although the cruise control had kept me close to the speed limit for most of the trip, I somehow managed to fly by the state trooper, traveling fifteen miles over the speed limit.

“Ma’am, do you know how fast you were going? May I see your driver’s license and registration?”

It’s interesting how simple questions can cause a near heart attack. We both knew I was guilty. Waiting in my car for the officer to write the ticket, I prayed, cried, and almost vomited. I was without excuse. The longer he delayed, the lower my spirits sank.

When he finally returned, I could hardly believe my ears. “I’m going to cut you a break and give you a warning. Drive carefully now.”

I didn’t deserve the grace the officer gave me that day. I should have gotten a hefty fine. But his words didn’t go unheeded. The safest driver on Interstate 80 that afternoon was me. When the cruise control kicked off and the speedometer creeped up, I slowed down. I had no desire to get stopped again, and wanted to be safe. But what motivated me was the state trooper giving me a second chance. Even though he would never know, I wanted to “live out” my gratitude.

Grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness. Laws are necessary, but the law can’t change us. It keeps us in line and protects us. Grace, however, moves from the inside out. It’s fueled by gratefulness. We don’t want to let down the One who “cut us a break.” Not if we know how guilty we are. Tim Keller says grace becomes electrifying as we see the true depths of our flaws.

Thank God none of us are receiving what we deserve.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Becky Toews

Serving in ministry for over thirty years, Becky Toews has studied the Bible extensively, including tutelage under the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer. She teaches English Composition and Public Speaking at Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, PA. She is the author of Virgin Snow: Leaving Your Mark in the World. She is married to Chip Toews who founded New Covenant Christian Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1982 and remains the head pastor there. The Toews have two grown children. Becky posts weekly devotionals on her website,  www.beckytoews.com, under Fresh Tracks.