Grandaddy Richardson was one of my heroes growing up in South Carolina.
He was old school. He liked Wingtip shoes, cowboy movies, the Grand Ole Opry, the mountains, and the great outdoors.
Also, he was in the monument business. That business still is running today. He could sell tombstones and grave markers with the best of them.
Grandaddy was also a preacher. He wore a suit, carried around a King James Bible, and preached at little churches. Though uneducated, he studied his Bible extensively and he knew how to preach it with amazing skill.
He loved us grandkids. When he preached on the local AM radio station in Sumter on Sunday mornings, he would address us by name. We got a kick out of that. And he always gave us a dollar bill or took us to the store for some Coke and candy whenever he saw us.
I remember the day he died. I cried because I missed him. But I knew he was headed to Heaven. And that is where he wanted to go.
Shortly after his death, I was looking through one of his books that he had given me. Inside the front cover was something he wrote. This is what it was:
"Leon Richardson : An old sinner saved by grace."
See, my Grandaddy got it. As good of a guy as he was, he realized he was still a sinner that needed a savior. He understood that salvation was a gift he received from God, not a prize he earned by himself.
The older I get, the more grace means to me. I too am a sinner. And I certainly do not deserve much at all from God on this earth or beyond the grave. But the cool thing about grace is God gives me things that are better than what I deserve. He gives me forgiveness rather than condemnation. He gives me blessings rather than emptiness. He gives me Heaven rather than Hell. And it is for these things that I am so grateful!
Grace should make us humble. Remember we are not saved because of what we do. Not at all. We are saved by what God does.
Grace should make us thankful. Remember that God has been more than generous to His children. If He never does anything else for us, we still can spend all of eternity exclaiming "Thank you, Lord!" for how He has already saved us.
What made Grandaddy so great? The grace of God. That's what made all the difference in his life.
And grace is what still changes lives today. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we receive it and are transformed by it. It makes all the difference in the world.
Grace really is an amazing thing, isn't it?