Saving Grace

Hi friends, David here.

The 2012 cinematic adaptation of the musical based on Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Misérables, was tremendous. But my favorite adaptation of the novel was the 1998 film starring Liam Neeson. There’s a reason.

Even though the acting is superb, and the costumes, music, and scenes look first-rate, there is another element that outshines them all.  The Grace of God

Before I show you the clip of my favorite scene, here’s a brief set-up: Jean Valjean is a ex-convict living in pre-revolutionary France. Just released from prison, he wanders the streets because no one will take him in. Finally, a kindly old bishop feeds him and lets him sleep overnight.

Let’s watch the scene in the movie to see what happens.

 

Behold the transforming power of the grace of God. This must be one of the best illustrations of the grace that God has given to us.

The bishop had the right to have to Valjean imprisoned. Justice demanded it. But when the Bishop went against every human instinct for revenge, it transformed Jean Valjean’s life forever.

Being offered such grace—when he had never even sought it—tore down all his defenses. He dedicated his life from that point to helping others. Valjean kept the candlesticks always as a reminder of grace.

The Transforming Power of the Grace of God

We could summarize most messages we hear at church with two words: “Be good.”

But we need to hear more than that. Why be good? Here’s one answer:

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.”—Titus 2:11–12

The grace of God is a constant theme in the Bible, and it culminates in the New Testament with the coming of Jesus (John 1:17). The word translated “grace” in the New Testament comes from the Greek word charis, which means “favor, blessing, or kindness.” We can all extend grace to others; but when the word grace is used in connection with God, it takes on a more powerful meaning. Grace is God choosing to bless us rather than curse us as our sin deserves. It is His benevolence to the undeserving.

Planting

Some questions for you to ponder:

  1. What does grace mean to you day to day?
  2. What does it look, feel and sound like?
  3. How will you let this grace transform you?
  4. Who do you need to speak to about this?

This grace is unique and is God’s gift to us.  This week, how will you reflect on this grace? What does this actually mean to you?  May you, my brothers and sisters again remember that it is by this grace that our place in heaven is assured. It was freely given to you and nothing can separate us from this.

Grace and peace my friends.

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