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My mother always had to remind me to wash my hands before dinner. It just seemed like such a waste of time to me, I mean, they weren't that dirty, besides, I used silverware to eat with, well, most of the time I did. She also had to remind me to make my bed and clean up my room. Why make the bed? I thought, I'm just going to have to get back in it tonight.And why pick up the dirty clothes off the floor, they're dirty anyway--the floor isn't going to hurt them.

Bless my mother's heart, I'm sure she got tired of trying to make a gentleman out of me. As it turned out, she wasn't very successful either, I'm still a bit of a slob. When we divided out the household chores, I chose shopping and cooking over cleaning.

Maybe it's just my tendency to accept life with the mess that accompanies it, but I get frustrated at how antiseptic we try to make God's grace. For some reason, we want to clean it up and try to give it a poetic ring. We define it with words like "unmerited favor," and when we do we make it academic. It becomes a crisp concept hanging on our theological clothesline. Nice and neat. Clean and tidy. True, but nonetheless, irrelevant. It isn't a definition that can keep me warm at night. I need more.

We stretch it to make it a promise from God that we will avoid suffering, and when we do, we strip it of its depth. God's grace isn't that he keeps us from suffering, it is that He doesn't let us go through our times of suffering alone.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;" (Psalm 23:4 KJV)

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365 Days includes Volumes 1-4
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Impact Preaching: A Case for the
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