Wednesday, 12 May 2021
Title: Unmerited Favour
By Wong King Wai
Matt 19:16 – And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”
In Matt 19, verses 16 to 22, we read about a rich young ruler who came to Jesus and asked Him what he must do to have eternal life. Although this passage teaches us about being careful who or what we worship, this passage also teaches us about the Grace of God.
The late Jerry Bridges authored “Transforming Grace”, a book which was instrumental in my understanding of Grace and which I have had the opportunity to teach several times in the past.
Grace is defined as “unmerited favour”, a favour which is not based on any work or effort we do to gain merit for blessings from God. It is freely given to us simply by faith in Jesus. We can do nothing to earn our way into heaven or deserve this Grace.
In this story of the rich young ruler, you will notice the use of the word “I” many times. This young man kept highlighting what he had done. But Jesus soon revealed to him his true heart’s treasure – his wealth – and it was something the young ruler could not give up and he left sad. This passage is a good lesson to teach us to not depend on the results of our self-effort and works to deserve anything from God because He blesses His children according to His will and love for us.
I would like to think that this rich young ruler eventually understood what he had to do to receive Jesus in his life, simply because we are not different from him. I’m reminded of this in Psalm 23:4, which states ”Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”. Who among us hasn’t gone our own way (notice the same word “I” in the verse) but thankfully God is never far from us and is always guiding us.
Furthermore, the same Grace freely given is also the fuel for service. Jerry gives another definition of Grace, which is “divine assistance”. It is this assistance that we use to serve others. If we serve by our own effort or strength, we will burn out, give up and be discouraged in no time.
Let us not think we have to do something to deserve anything from God. Let us remember what He has done for us, be grateful for His blessings and Grace, and trust and obey His commands. It can be tough going, but thank God we have amazing Grace that not only saved wretches like us but also gave us the fuel to live out our lives for His glory.
PRAYER: My Father in Heaven. Forgive me if I have mistaken that my walk with You requires me to earn my way into heaven. Forgive me for thinking that just because of what I have and done that I deserve blessings. Guide me to know where my blind spots are so I can seek Your forgiveness and surrender my soul, heart, body, mind and spirit totally to You. Without You I can do nothing. Help me and show me how to live my life by Your Grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN.
马太福音19:16 – 有一个人来见耶稣说：“夫子，我该作什么善事，才能得永生？”
已故的杰瑞·布里奇斯著有 “转化的恩典”（Transforming Grace）一书，这本书有助于我对恩典的理解，过去我曾有机会教过这本书数次。
在这位年轻富有的官的故事中，您会注意到多次引用的 “我” 这个词。这个年轻人不断强调他所做的事，但耶稣很快就向他展示了他内心真正的财宝 – 他的钱财 – 这是这位年轻的官无法放弃的东西，他伤心地离开了。这段经文是一个很好的教训，告诉我们不要靠自己的努力和工作的结果，来配得上帝的赏赐，因为祂按照祂的意愿和对我们的爱赐福与祂的儿女。
我希望这年轻富有的官最终明白了他必须做些什么才能接纳耶稣在他的生命中，因为我们和他没有什么分别。诗篇23:4提醒了我：“我虽然行过死荫的幽谷”。我们当中有谁不曾偏行自己的路(留意经文中同样的 “我” 字)，但感恩的是上帝从未远离我们，一直在引导我们。