Women’s Bible studies have started up again after the Christmas break. Because of weather and the break, my ladies that meet on Wednesday evening have yet to finish a chapter in the book we’re studying on the parables of Jesus. We’ve attempted this particular lesson twice before.


???????????????????????????????As I looked over the material again this morning in prep for tomorrow night, I read a line that finally caught my attention. So let’s count the number of times I’ve actually read this line.


I have already done this Bible study. So I read it the very first time I filled in the blanks. Then, in preparation to lead that time I read it at least one more time, possibly two.


I read this line in December to prepare for the lesson on that date (we cancelled because of weather). Then we attempted to get together again last week so I read the line (we cancelled because of weather). So again, this morning, I re-read the lesson material and this particular line yet again. Did you lose count? I did!


So here’s the line that has finally caught my attention.


“Once we accept grace for ourselves, we will be more gracious with others.”[i]


We are studying the parable of the workers in the vineyard from Matthew 20. Let’s recap that parable.


A landowner hires some men in the morning to harvest his crops and he sets an amount that he will pay them for their work. At three other times during the day, the landowner hires more men to work in his vineyard. No amount was mentioned for these workers, but the landowner said they would receive fair wage.


At the end of the day, the landowner paid his hired workers. Starting with the men who only worked an hour, he paid them the agreed upon contract amount that the first workers were to receive. The first workers thought for sure they would receive more since they worked longer. But no, the landowner paid the contracted amount.


The first workers became disgruntled and called the landowner unfair. But in his great kindness, the landowner called them “friends” and sent them on their way.


Sometimes it’s difficult for us to understand God’s graciousness. We hear of vial criminals turning their lives over to Jesus. How could God possibly shed His grace upon them? But according to Scripture we know that He does.


The reality is that I don’t deserve God’s grace either. I can agree with the Apostle Paul when he said, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15 – NIV)


But, because God has no desire to leave us in this state, “the grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 1:14 – NIV)


So let me take you back to the quote from above. “Once we accept grace for ourselves, we will be more gracious with others.” Knowing that I am the worst sinner and that God still desires to be gracious toward me points me to be more like Him and show grace to others.


I know, it’s more difficult than it sounds. Words are easier to say. But we are called to forgive as God has forgiven us.


So how do we do it? Through God’s Holy Spirit. As we allow God’s Spirit and Word to transform us, we can be more gracious toward others…and ourselves.


Who do you need to be gracious to today? The store clerk who just can’t seem to do anything right? The person who cut you off on your drive to work? Your child who just can’t seem to pick up after themselves? Yourself?


Let’s not forget that we are all dependent upon God’s grace. Without it, we would lost. Let’s make today a gracious day.


Grace and peace be yours in abundance,



[i] “Live Deeply: A Study in the Parables of Jesus,” Lenya Heitzig and Penny Rose, David C. Cook Publishing, 2009, pg. 106.

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