The word grace is widely misunderstood in our culture. In the Bible, grace simply refers to God's gifts of goodness and blessing in our lives that we do not deserve—gifts of salvation, eternal life, forgiveness of sin, mercy, protection, material blessings, family, and so forth. All of these things come from the grace of God.
Sinners need grace, but they also need Truth.
That is why I first approach others with news about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I share with them the good news that God loves them and sent His Son to die for them as an atonement for sin. Sinners need grace, but they also need Truth. The world loves grace—but hates Truth. The world wants us to embrace and affirm not only the sinner, but the sin as well. Today the world even says we must take what God forbids and turn it into a sacrament—the unholy "sacrament" of same-sex marriage. But I love God, I love His Word, and I love people too much to compromise God's Truth.
As Christians, we must never diminish God's grace, and we must never compromise God's Truth. Whatever sins you may have committed, I do not hate you for them. I will not condemn you for them. But I will tell you the Truth about your sins from God's Word.
Here is the Truth—the absolute Truth—that you will probably never read in any newspaper or hear on any news broadcast: A genuine Christian who follows the example of the Lord, who speaks God's uncompromised Truth, and who shares the good news of God's lavish grace is the best friend a sinner could have. A genuine Christian is the best friend a drug addict or alcoholic could have, the best friend a workaholic or liar could have, the best friend an adulterer or fornicator could have, and, yes, the best friend a homosexual man or woman could have.
If you are a Christian, I appeal to you in the name of Jesus to be an example of Christ to the people around you. Be an example of grace and Truth to everyone you meet, no matter their sin, no matter how they mock you or hate you, no matter how they revile His name. Pray for them. Love them. Be the grace of Christ and the Truth of Christ in their lives, and someday they may come to love the Lord Jesus too.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be the best friend for those around me who need to hear Your Truth and experience Your love. Grant me Your wisdom and Your words by Your Holy Spirit as I build these relationships. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him" (John 3:17).
*This devotional adapted from The Hidden Enemy by Michael Youssef © 2018. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, IL. Used by permission.