[Jonah] prayed to the LORD and said, “Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.”
A Bible college student learned an unforgettable lesson in one of his classes. When he went to class, everyone was busy doing last-minute studying. The professor, Dr. Hufty, arrived and said he would give a short review before the exam; the students were thrilled. When the review ended and the exams were passed out, the professor said “Begin.” But when the students turned over their exam papers, everyone shared the same expression of shock: all the answers were filled in—by hand! And at the bottom of the last page, Dr. Hufty had written this note:
This is the end of the exam. All the answers on your test are correct. You will receive an “A” as your final grade. The reason you passed this test is because the creator of the test took it for you. All the work you did in preparation, though it may have been a great discipline for your study, did not help you get this perfect score.
Then Dr. Hufty addressed the class with these words: “Some lessons you learn from lectures, some lessons you learn from research, but some lessons you learn from experience—and you will probably never forget those. And class, you have just experienced grace.”
Are there times when you bemoan the fact that God delivers grace to someone you don’t believe deserves it as much as you do? Someone who doesn’t work or serve or pray or study as diligently as you? Dr. Hufty illustrated for his class what God’s grace really looks like. God’s grace is available to everyone. No one ever deserves it—which is why it is called “grace.” Grace is kindness offered to the undeserving. Grace is love for the unlovely and a relationship for the unworthy.
Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, “A” students and “C” students, model citizens and felons, Israelites and Ninevites make the same grade and are accepted into a society composed of redeemed sinners—sinners saved by the grace of God.