Today and throughout the week we will be talking about Grace and Love! Specifically the love our Savior and the grace that He so freely gives us.
The definition of Grace found in the bible dictionary says; divine means of help or strength given through the bounteous mercy and Love of Jesus Christ.
I think Brad Wilcox said it best in his talk given to BYU students on July 12, 2011. He states Grace is not achieved somewhere down the road. It is received right here and right now. It is not a finishing touch; it is the Finisher’s touch.
Isn’t that beautiful?
Sometimes I think we feel that we are undeserving or too weak to receive of the Savior’s Grace. But we are promised in Ether 12:27 of the Book of Mormon And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
And again in 2 Corinthians 12:9 Pauls speaks, And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Paul goes on to say in verse 10: Therefore I take pleasure in the infirmities, in the reproaches, in the necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: For when I am weak, then am I strong!
Such powerful words from two reliable sources of scripture. If you don’t have a copy of the Book of Mormon I would be happy to send one to you. We believe as members of the church of Jesus Christ that it is modern day scripture which came forth by divine means and is another testament of Jesus Christ. Having read it many times, there is power in that book, just as there is in the Bible that was written in ancient times.
So how do we apply these scriptures both ancient and modern to our daily lives?
One way is that we can first recognize our weakness. For most of us that is easy to do. We look at all the things that we struggle with that we feel make us less than or worthless. We may struggle with temptations of the world that would likely convince us that we don’t need a Savior that we can handle things on our own. And for a time, that strategy may work. But oftentimes we need to be brought low in order to rise up.
I am reminded of the old poem by Myra Brooks Welch of the worn out distressed and broken violin that was given to be bid on at an auction. It’s a bit long but I think it really stresses the need to let the Master take precedence in our own lives which we can compare to the old violin. It goes like this:
‘Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bid, good people”, he cried,
“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”
“Two dollars, who makes it three?”
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?”
As he held it aloft with its’ bow.
“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”
“Two thousand, Who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone”, said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
“We just don’t understand.”
“What changed its’ worth?”
Swift came the reply.
“The Touch of the Master’s Hand.”
“And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters’ Hand.
– Myra Brooks Welch
My invitation to you today is let the Master take hold of your bow. Turn your weaknesses over to Him. Though you may be low, and feel dusty and worn. Remember that It is not a finishing touch; it is the Finisher’s touch. His grace is sufficient! Only He can give us the strength we need to push forward and grow through our weakness so that we can be made strong. That’s it for today friends. Talk to you all again tomorrow!