March 9, 2010 • By Ed Wrather
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. - Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV.
It is hard to wrap your mind around even the possibility of what some people will do, and what actually happens in their lives. A traffic accident occurred recently in the Florida Keys, because of the unbelievable actions of a couple of people there. Megan Barnes and her ex-husband, Charles Judy, were on their way to meet Megan's boyfriend in Key West when the accident happened. Now, you have to wonder why Megan and Charles were even in a vehicle together, but that is only an odd sidebar to the main event. Of course, Megan wanted to appear her best when she met her boyfriend, and so she did what any woman would do in a situation like that, she decided to shave her…uh… bikini line.
The situation is further complicated by Megan being the one who is driving the vehicle. So, Charles takes over control of the car from the passenger seat while Megan shaves. The vehicle is only going about 45mph, but that is apparently 40mph too fast when the car in front of them slows to 5mph to make a turn. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured in the accident. To make this incident even more unbelievable you have to know some more of the facts. Megan should not have been driving, because the day before she had been convicted of Driving Under the Influence after a prior offense with a suspended license. In addition, she was ordered not to drive any vehicle that did not have a Breathalyzer device to prevent her from driving it while intoxicated. That is probably why after the accident Megan continued down the highway a half mile so that she and Charles could switch places, and claim that he was driving. However, because of burns on Charles' chest from the air bag, and because the driver side air bag did not deploy, the investigating officer knew that Megan was actually driving. The entire situation is simply unbelievable, but it is still true!
If you are the judge when Megan appears before the court after this incident would you give her a pat on the back and tell her all is forgiven? Most of us would give her a sentence that we hope will keep her off the streets for a few years. That is the mindset that we humans have, and it makes it hard for us to comprehend, to believe, the amazing grace, amazing mercy of God when we encounter it personally.
Megan most likely will not receive mercy at the hands of her human judge for her actions, and she certainly does not deserve such mercy. However, she can receive mercy in the hands of her God. The operative word here is “can.” God's mercy is not automatic. God's mercy is a gift, but in order to receive a gift we must do what? We must want it, and accept it. Examine a few of the Biblical passages concerning salvation:
John 1:12: “But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” We must receive or accept Jesus.
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” We must believe in Jesus.
Romans 10:13: For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” We must call upon His name.
Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” We must open up the door of our heart and allow Jesus to enter in.
God's amazing gift of grace, of mercy, may sound as if it is unbelievable, but the eternal fact is that it is still true! God is offering His amazing gift to you - accept it!