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Session 12

The Greatest Gift

Read: Romans 12

Have you ever received a gift that was totally unexpected? Something you yearned for but felt you could never obtain? Visualize the greatest gift possible then open your eyes. What if that gift was right in front of you waiting for you to take it?

Grace is undeserved favor. God has given us all grace, by sending his only Son to die to pay for our sins. Grace is a free and unmerited gift. It can’t be earned, just accepted.

We get the joy and God gets the glory when we rely on Him to change others through grace.

Our gratitude for this extraordinary gift is best expressed by our actions afterward. Everyone needs grace. And when we recognize the extraordinary grace we’ve received, we should be compelled to extend grace to others.

Paul explains how to do this in Romans 12. We cannot extend grace without first receiving it. But, when we allow our minds to be transformed by God’s grace, several things happen:

  • We feel the freedom to hear and obey whatever God prompts us to do (Romans 12:2b).
  • We recognize that our skills and talents are gifts from God and we use them to serve and extend grace to others.
  • We stop trying to earn God’s approval, which allows us to feel secure in His love and honor others above ourselves (Romans 12:9-10).
  • We start to give joy and hope to others, seeking to help those in need, pursuing peace instead of drama, and overcoming evil with good (Romans 12:21).
  • We stop seeking revenge and start forgiving those who hurt us — showing others the same grace God has lavished upon us.

We are all sinners, completely undeserving of grace. We didn’t do anything to earn God's favor, so why would we expect others to? Let’s be the people who love with a sincere heart and extend a willing hand to those in need. We get the joy and God gets the glory when we rely on Him to change others through grace.

Reflect:

  • How do you respond to those who mistreat you?  What’s one way you can extend forgiveness and grace to someone this week?
  • How would you describe the difference between sincere and insincere love for others? What’s one thing you can do differently this week to love your family, classmates or coworkers sincerely?

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