June 07, 2010

Borrowing Grace

Luke 5:1-11

[Jesus] got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore.
Luke 5:3


Borrowers sometimes have poor reputations. They borrow books, tools, dishes, clothes, money. Will they return what they borrow? Sometimes they don’t—or if they do, they might not return it promptly or in good condition.

But all people are borrowers. People who are revived from near death are not the only ones living on “borrowed time.” Every breath we take is borrowed from God. We rightly sing, “All that borrows life from you is ever in your care.”

Actually God designed us to be borrowers. If we say we are not, we claim we are self-sufficient—and that sounds like Augustine’s definition of sin: “Sin is believing the lie that I am self-created, self-dependent, and self-sustained.”

We have a good role model in this borrowing business. Jesus, the perfect and sinless one, borrowed a manger to be born in, a boat to preach from, a cushion to sleep on, a donkey to ride on, a room to share communion in, a cross to save the world on, a tomb to be buried in. From birth to death the Savior-Creator was a borrower.

It takes grace to borrow. It takes grace to return. It takes grace to lend and to repay. It takes grace to give with no expectation of return. It takes grace to receive with only the ability to say, “Thank you, Lord.”

God of abounding grace, we pray today for the grace to ask for what we need, and the grace to humbly receive. Through Jesus Christ, Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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