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When I was in seminary, Professor Douglas Kelly once asked our class, “What is the greatest gift we as the church can share with the world?”

We all remained silent, knowing that his answer was going to be far better than anything we could come up with. Indeed, his answer has become so formative for me that I have sometimes thought, “This should be added to the Shorter Catechism!”

His answer was, “The greatest gift we can share with the world is the triune God Himself.”

The Apostle Paul shared this greatest of all gifts when he blessed the saints in Corinth with these words: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor. 13:14). This is the same gift that we have the privilege of sharing with the world today.

In today’s unforgiving culture, the church has an opportunity to stand out more than ever as a beacon of grace—the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. As Christians, we have sinned many times over, in all sorts of ways and to every degree. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23). Yet our God has never rejected us. Why? Because “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).

To be sure, God shows us our sins, but He does not show us the door because of them. He convicts us, but He does not reject us. He does not shun us; He changes us by His grace into the likeness of His Son to bless us, make us a blessing to others, and glorify His name. In a world that itches to find guilt, we have a God who itches to show grace (Mic. 7:18).

Are we itching to show grace? Are we itching to forgive as we’ve been forgiven (Eph. 4:32)? Are we more eager to share the good news of God’s free grace in His Son than we are to be “in the know” about the latest moral failure or notorious scandal? Do we freely and indiscriminately offer the good news of Him who “bore our sins in his body on the tree,” “remember[s our] sins no more,” and said, “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out” (1 Peter 2:24; Heb. 8:12; John 6:37)? Are we experiencing the healing grace of Jesus in our own lives so deeply that we are moved to extend His grace to others?

We know the loving Father for whom every human heart ultimately yearns. Let us not keep Him to ourselves.

Our world needs the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. It also needs the love of God the Father.

The title of a Bob Dylan song summarizes the condition of our fallen world: “Everything Is Broken.” And nothing is presently more broken than the average family. The devil can’t stand a happy, intact family, especially one with a loving, present, faithful father. Why is this the case? Such a sight reminds him of the beautiful “family life” of the Trinity. Satan cannot destroy that “family.” He cannot extinguish the love of the Spirit. He cannot drive a wedge between the heavenly Father and His beloved Son, though in his boundless hubris, he certainly tried (Matt. 4:1–11). So he tries to destroy that which reflects the familial love of the Trinity. And in our spiritual stupor, we are allowing him to have his way.

Thus, everyone we meet is yearning for a father who is always there, always kind, always attentive, always loving—a father who reaches out to them to heal and restore that which has been broken by sin.

Some years ago, a father and son in Madrid, Spain, had become estranged. The son ran away, and the father became determined to find him. He searched for months and months without success. Finally, in desperation, the father ran an ad in the Madrid newspaper. The ad read: “Dear Juan, all is forgiven. Please meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday. I love you. Love, your father.” On Saturday, two hundred men named Juan showed up, yearning to be reconnected to their fathers.

In his classic book Knowing God, J.I. Packer said: “What is a Christian? The question can be answered in many ways, but the richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God as Father.”

As Christians, we know the loving Father for whom every human heart ultimately yearns. Let us not keep Him to ourselves. Let us share the good news of His love and show His love to our broken world.

Our world needs the grace of Jesus, it needs the love of our Father, and it needs the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

In a world of increasing isolation, God’s image bearers are desperate for fellowship, and they are looking all over creation to find it. Ultimately, though, the Holy Spirit is the only One who can fill our fellowship cup. No created thing, not even our best and most loyal friends, can satisfy our deepest longings for fellowship.

The Holy Spirit, who graciously indwells every believer, is the One who brings us into the satisfying fellowship of the Father and the Son, assures us of our Father’s irrevocable love, and empowers us to share that love with others (Rom. 8:16; Acts 1:8; Eph. 2:18; 1 John 1:3). Let us therefore depend on the Spirit, ask for the filling of the Spirit, live in the joy of the Spirit, and bear witness regarding the satisfying communion of the Spirit, which our world so desperately needs.

In a world of swift retribution, brokenness, and isolation, let us make it our daily aim to share in word and deed the greatest gift we have received, the greatest gift we have to offer the world: the grace, love, and fellowship of our triune God.

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From the May 2022 Issue
May 2022 Issue