Friday, November 27, 2015

The Grace Of Mrs. Reaves

Thomas Sumter Academy is where I went to school.  And in my junior year, which was 1987-88, I took chemistry with Mrs. Reaves.  She was a great lady and a excellent educator.  

The problem I had that year in chemistry was not the subject or the teacher.  The problem was me.  I didn't pay good enough attention.  I didn't try to learn the subject.  And at times I just misbehaved in class.  Because of my choices, I failed chemistry.  That was a low point for me.  And all of the blame laid at my feet.  It was 100% my fault.

But let me tell you about Mrs. Reaves.  She didn't give up on me.  That good woman showed me kindness, patience, and forgiveness.  And when I finally decided to grow up and take chemistry again in my senior year, she let me back in her class for another round.  Yes, she welcomed me back and gave me another opportunity.  When I needed tutoring, she was more than willing to help.  When I didn't understand the material, she explained it in another way that clicked in my mind.  She did everything she could to help me succeed.

Mrs. Reaves showed me grace.  In other words, she treated me better than I deserved.  And it made a big impact in my life.  I still think about it 27 years later.    

In a way, God does the same thing with all of us.  Ephesians 2:8 tells us "for by grace you have been saved" and "it is the gift of God."  Isn't that awesome?!  God treats us better than we deserve.  

We deserve condemnation, but He grants us salvation.  

We deserve Hell, but He gives us Heaven.

God, in all of His goodness, shows us kindness, patience, and forgiveness.  He offers us the gift of a new life through His Son, Jesus.  This life is abundant and eternal.  And it's nothing we earn or deserve.  Far from it.  All we do is receive this gift by saying "Yes" to Jesus and placing our faith in Him.

Receive God's grace today.  It'll bless your soul and transform your life.  And show people grace today.  Grant them forgiveness and mercy.  It'll be a gift to them that might just turn them around.  And that's a good thing!

I'm thankful for the grace of Mrs. Reaves.  And by the way, my second year of chemistry went much better.  I passed with a higher grade and learned some things I still remember today.  And when I was later hired to work at First Baptist Church of Sumter, one of the first people to welcome me there was Mrs. Reaves!  Her grace towards me continued long after high school.  

And I'm especially thankful for the grace of God.  It has saved my soul and made all the difference in my life.  Truly, it is the single greatest gift I have ever received.

Grace.  It really is amazing.  Thanks be to God for it.

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