Grace upon Grace

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My friend Chun Lai recently traveled home to Hong Kong and Australia to minister to his family after the death of his father.  The invitation to participate in the funeral service posed some real challenges, as Chun explains:

"The Lord gave me something to say when I was at a complete loss for words. At 11pm the night before the funeral I had determined not to say anything because I didn't have anything good to say. Either I would antagonize one of my 8 siblings because my Dad favored me ("Dad certainly wasn't like that to me") or I would be accused of re-writing my Dad's history as a Christian or I would be accused of preaching...."

With permission, here is what Chun said at the funeral -- a simple explanation of God's grace that put his own standing as a favored son in its proper context:

Grace.

One definition of the word grace is unmerited favor. That is, when you get what you don’t deserve, in the positive direction.

Grace is an important word in my life. Grace is the basis of my relationship with Jesus Christ. Grace is what my wife gives me every day so that we might stay married to each other. Grace is so important that we named our daughter Karis, which means Grace in Ancient Greek.

As I thought about my Dad, I realized that Grace defined my relationship with him too. I did not deserve for him to fill a whole garbage bag full of toys instead of a little stocking at Christmas time - it was grace, unmerited favour from my Dad.

I did not deserve for him to endure most of his life in a third world country so that I could get an education and have a life in a first world country - it was grace, unmerited favour from my Dad.

I did not deserve for him to still like me even though my current career choice is one he did not understand - it was grace, unmerited favour from my Dad.

I was delighted to hear that my Dad professed faith in Christ and was baptized a few years ago. If his profession and repentance was real, I have great hope that God will graciously give my Dad what he does not deserve - Eternal Life with Him in Heaven.

It is this great hope that makes this time of sadness bearable.

Posted November 21, 2006 @ 9:35 AM by Phil Ryken
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