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“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…” – Ephesians 2:8

My daughter had just warned me. We were on the way to a softball game, and I was cruising through Brady’s Run Park too quickly. Then I saw the flashing lights.

As the young officer approached my car, I shook my head and declared, “I was going too fast. My daughter just warned me. I am an idiot.”

After I handed over my license and registration, we waited. “I have no argument,” I muttered to my wife and daughter. “I blew it.”

The officer returned and said, “You weren’t going too much over the limit, so I am going to just give you a warning. But try to keep it at 25 through here.”

What did I receive? Some have said that mercy is when you don’t get what you deserve, and grace is when you get what you don’t deserve. I received both. I didn’t get the ticket I deserved, and I gained the freedom to continue my journey.

This is a picture of the Christian gospel.

I admit I deserve whatever punishment God ordains for my sins. But God provides the gift of salvation. I am not condemned because Jesus died on the cross to secure my forgiveness and welcome me into the family of God, with all the rights and privileges of a child of God.

I resumed our journey through Brady’s Run at 25 miles an hour, happy to show my gratefulness to the one who had shown mercy and given grace.

I knew the gospel before. On a journey through Brady’s Run, I learned it anew.

May this mercy and grace be yours.

Father, thank you that you do not treat us as our sins deserve.

May we know and show the mercy and grace of Jesus today.

Author Bio

Tom Stein is the Associate Pastor at Chapel Presbyterian Church in Brighton Township. He is also an instructor in the Adult Degree Program at Geneva College. He and his wife Beth Ann have three children. He blogs biblical meditations at tomsteinjr.blogspot.com.