Getting What We Don’t
By Greg Laurie
"May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you."
Let’s imagine for a moment that I loaned my motorcycle to a friend, and he went out and dumped it. Worse yet, he totaled it. So I said, “I
want you to get me a brand-new bike.” That would be justice.
But let’s say, for example, that I dealt with my friend in mercy and said, “You don’t
have to get me a brand-new bike. I forgive you.”
Now, if I dealt with him in grace, I not only would refuse his offer to buy a new bike for me, but I would take
him out to dinner and then buy him his own Harley.
Justice is getting what we deserve. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. And grace is getting what we don’t
The Bible says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward
for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (Ephesians 2:8–9 NLT).
Grace is God’s unmerited favor, and we need God’s
grace because we sin every day. In fact, we sin more than we think we do. The Bible says, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth” (1 John 1:18 NLT).
We think we sin when we do things like lose our temper or think a lustful thought. And yes, those are sins. But we also can sin when we say no to God’s prompting to open His Word and read it. We can sin when God leads
us to pray or share the gospel with someone, and we refuse.
We need God’s grace every day. Just as surely as we need God’s daily provision, we need His
daily forgiveness as well. That’s where grace comes in.