Bible Reading: Matthew 15:21-28
“It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs”. She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table” (Matthew 15:26-27)
As Christians, we take God’s grace for granted all too often. We forget who we are and what God has given us.
Ephesians 2:1-3 reminds us of who we are. “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience - among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
In summary, we are rebels against God who decided to take Satan as our master and follow all our sinful lusts and desires, living out all the evil that we desired. Whether we told a lie or committed murder, our hearts were the same — in conscious rebellion against God’s ways which we knew and ignored in our hearts. As a result, we were destined for wrath and judgement, and in our sins and trespasses, we were so ignorant and blinded that we were dead.
Soak that in. That is you and me. However good the world might define you and me, we are defiled, horrendous creatures before the Holy God. People like us do not deserve mercy, let alone grace. We do not deserve pardon, let alone a new life in the truth.
Yet, Ephesians 2:4-7 shows us, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
In spite of our evil, God decided to love us and make us alive through the death of Christ, His Son, where our sins were punished in Him on the cross, and His righteousness is given to us that we may have life. He forgave us and made the dirty clean. Moreover, he did this so that he could show us even more of his immeasurable riches of grace in the coming ages.
What should be our response to such grace that we have received?
Ask God for a heart like the Canaanite woman who begged Jesus that the demon in her daughter be cast out. Jesus said that she was a dog and undeserving of His grace. However, she was not offended. Instead, she humbly admitted, “Yes, Lord”. She knew who she was and how she was significantly undeserving. Yet, she begged for the crumbs that even the dogs get to scavenge. She begged for and prizes the tiniest crumb of God’s grace because she knew that that was the only thing of eternal soul-saving value.
So too, we must act. Prize the grace of God highly. Know that each opportunity to know God, serve Him, and be renewed in the truth is invaluable. It is a great privilege, given to the most undeserving. More than that, we must beg for it. As Ephesians said earlier, our God is “rich in mercy”. Appeal to His character and beg for His mercy and grace.
This way, we will not take for granted God’s grace and live in arrogance. Rather, being humbled and made low, we will walk in fear and trembling, adoring and glorifying the riches of His grace which He peels back a layer at a time for us to take in.
Lord, please give me a heart like the Canaanite woman. Do not let me take for granted my relationship with You. Let me know that this is all Your love and grace, and I do not deserve any of it. Teach me to see each new grace for what it truly is in Your eyes. Teach me to walk with You in humility and awe of Your grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.