I Am a Man with No Boots

A man sees another man outside in the cold with no shoes.
He buys the man a pair of boots.
Someone witnesses this act of kindness
and then everything gets a little strange.
As I followed this story last December, I realized how much I am like the man with no boots.
Jesus came and saw me sitting in a mess – needy, homeless, lost, and cold.
Others saw the mess, too, but He saw everything. He saw beyond what showed on the surface.
But still, He gave me this gift in front of everyone.
A pair of boots, called grace.
It was big news. People paid Jesus a lot of attention for His selfless act.
I was jealous and felt that if I was part of a story that was such big news, I should receive some of the glory.
Twisted, right?
My obvious unworthiness of such kindness, made others dig a little into the story.
They discovered other evidence of my unworthiness, including the fact that I was largely responsible for my own situation and didn’t deserve the boots.
When others started talking about it, it all just seemed like a big complicated, confusing mess.
But Jesus wasn’t confused.
When He and I had a moment alone I said, “They’re right, you know. I don’t deserve your gift. I created my own situation. I tried to rob you of some of your glory.”
“This is only news to the others.” he replied.
I tried to give Him back the boots.
He looked at them in my outstretched hand and said, “It was never about what you deserved. It was about what you needed and what I wanted to give. I am the Grace-Giver.”
“What do I do now?” I asked.
“Keep the boots.” He said.
“Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,  
in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:4b-9
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood
—to be received by faith. ” Romans 3:23-25
Are you open to receiving His gift of grace?
Live open.
While you’re busy planning to give, the biggest surprise of the season may be the grace you receive.

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