Washed by Grace
We all know people who do all the “right things” and yet bad things still happen. Conversely, we also know people who live crazy lives and they always seem to prosper.

I think I first became familiar with this concept when I was in high school…specifically when I was taking the SATs. You see, I studied incredibly hard to make the grades I made. I was an A/B student, but school didn’t come easy to me. When it came time to take the SATs, I didn’t even break 1000. Meanwhile, I noticed other kids who barely made it to school on time to take the test – they might have even been hungover when they arrived, and yet they nailed the exam and went on to a big fancy college.

I only use the SATs as an example (because I honestly don’t really care about the SATs – I’m completely satisfied and content with the path God led me down), but we’ve all seen it happen before: health, finances, marriages, etc. So, with that said, this past weekend, my church continued our series called, “Bad Boys of the Bible.” This week, we talked about Judah.
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We’re introduced to Judah in the first book of the bible, Genesis. Rather than go through all of the scripture, I thought I’d point out the highlights: 
  • Judah was one of the twelve sons of Jacob and brother to Joseph (the dreamer with the “Coat of Many Colors”). He was instrumental in “saving” Joseph from death by suggesting that they (he and his brothers) sell him into slavery. Genesis 37:26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.”
  • Judah later found himself in a tricky situation with Tamar, the wife of his oldest son, Er (Genesis 38). To make a long story short, Judah gets Tamar pregnant as a result of not honoring a covenant (there’s more to it than that). Genesis 38:26 “She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.”
  • Fast-forward…Judah is given a chance to protect another of his brothers, Benjamin. Judah offers himself to Jacob as surety for Benjamin’s safety, to Joseph (his other brother). Joseph (who is in disguise) tests whether the brothers have changed their ways (since the time where they sold him into slavery) by tricking them into a situation where he can demand that Benjamin be taken. Judah does as he promised and makes a plea to Joseph (Genesis 44).
  • Finally, in Genesis 49, Jacob is getting old and blesses Judah and his brothers.
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As you can see in Genesis 49:8-10 (above), regardless of the chaos and destruction that Judah caused in his life, he did NOT get what he should have had coming. Grace is the vehicle God uses on occasion to ensure that we get exactly what we don’t deserve.

Imagine the “Judah’s” of your life. Maybe it’s a brother, a sister, your spouse, a parent, a coworker or a friend. They are going down a path that is so destructive and far removed from the path God intended. I definitely have such a person in my life – my brother. Without going into too much detail (I’d be happy to go into more detail by email), I ask that you pray for him. We must be reminded that Grace is NOT reserved for “Good People.” I’m further reminded of this after watching the final verdict of the Casey Anthony trial (if you haven’t seen it already, she was found not guilty). There is not one person who is not deserving of grace…a second, third and even fourth chance.

Furthermore, if Grace is the vehicle God uses, then we (you) might be the driver…the one to offer grace to another. I am far from perfect, I am always and forever flawed, but we are called to live a grace-filled life. By demonstrating grace to others, we create a magnet that draws others to God.
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So, how do we demonstrate Grace in our daily lives? 
  • We offer unconditional love to our families – it starts at home. However, grace is not to be confused with discipline (unfortunately, the two often get tangled). Actions speak louder than words. 
  • Give people the benefit of a doubt. Not everyone is out to hurt you. If we only knew (or tried to understand) the baggage people carried around with them, we might be more gracious.
  • Do more for others without expecting anything in return. Get rid of the “I deserve more” mentality.
  • Pray.
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With all that said, who are the Judah’s in your life? What are you doing to offer them grace? Or…how have you personally experienced grace in your life? Either way, I pray that at some point, we are all washed by grace.
If you are interested in seeing/hearing the original message entitled “Ambushed,” click HERE.
28 COMMENTS

    Very moving post! I think we all have some “Judahs” in our lives.

    I will definitely pray for your brother. Sounds like things aren’t good for him?

    Isn’t that funny….Seth and I were just talking about a ‘Judah’ we know. Definitely perfect timing for my ears! ;)

    I’ll pray for your brother. Loving your inspirational post and pictures as usual!

    My sons name is Judah :-)

    I will keep your brother in my prayers, my sons name will remind me

    xoxo

    Grace. Christ’s message is a message of grace. So important to remember and so easy to forget.

    Praying for you and your brother. My brother’s wife is my Judah…or Jezebel.

    Lots of “Judahs” out there! I adore that last scripture. So very true.

    wow. amazing post!

    mmmmm, this was good soul food. I def. have a Judas or two in my life but, what convicts me is the thought that I may very well be that person to someone else…a family member, an old friend…someone at church. I don’t know but, it is God’s grace that allows us all to stand. This is good stuff. Extend the same grace that has been extended to us. I have seen God’s grace in my life so clearly!

    My brother is the Judah in my life and countless times I have prayed and wished that he would see how far off the right path he is and come back to the Truth. I’ll definitely be praying for your brother. I can relate so well. If you want to discuss anything over email, my email is hazzelelponi54@rocketmail.com. Thank you for sharing this! God bless!

    In Christ,
    Jess

    This was such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. My thought as I was reading this, especially when I got to Jacob’s blessing over Judah is that redemption is possible in EVERY story (including my own). Thank you for sharing these words today; they were indeed honey for my soul.

    What an excellent post! The one thought that comes to mind is how ALL sin is equal and we are ALL sinners. So if I gossip, my sin is just as bad as someone who is a murderer. I know, doesn’t sound fair, but that’s what God’s word says. So when it comes to comparing ourselves, we are all sinners saved by grace.

    In the end, when I see things that are unfair, I just try to remember that His ways are not our worldly ways and we can’t comprehend everything.

    BTW, Love that first shot! What is it?

    Thanks for this. Grace is not something we deserve by any means. It’s hard to remember that sometimes. Thanks for the reminder that I need to show grace to others around me. Definitely need God’s help on that one! I’ll pray for your brother.

    What a fantastic post. Thanks for the reminder. I will remember your brother in my prayers. :)

    Beautiful post, Ashley! This is something we are instilling in our kids! How many times do we “give grace?” When we do, we always continue with “God gives grace to us when we don’t deserve it, this is just a continuation of His grace!” One time we took away a much anticipated trip. (they were using a steel bat with ball in the yard when they knew they weren’t supposed to) 1 Broken window in my dining room = no Six Flags trip to pay for it. Mulling it over for the next couple weeks, we decided to teach them a lesson. Woke them up early in pjs and told them we were looking at minivans in Wisconsin. Pulled into the park’s lot an hour 1/2 later, grabbed their packed bags with clothing and explained more about God’s grace. Hopefully they’ll never forget.
    I will say a prayer for your brother. I’m sorry.

    What a wonderful post and a great reminder of what Grace truly is. I have a couple of Judah’s in my life and will try to be more accepting of them with your inspiration and God’s help.

    What a wonderful post! God indeed washes away our misdeeds if we seek him.

    Great post! I had a little internal struggle today with a family member. I could either treat them the way they treated me and continue the vicious cycle, or overcome and do what felt right to me. Even if I’m being used, it’s not killing me and it’s better than a family war. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Even when it kills you ;)

    What a beautiful post – grace is a hard thing for people to understand and truly live out. Grace is so much more. Grace is a gift in which you and I do nothing to receive it.

    We don’t earn it or work for it. God gives grace to the humble and resists the proud. We simply must humble ourselves daily and remind ourselves that we are a SINNER saved by grace.

    Saved dos NOT = no sin.

    We all still fall short of the glory of God. The world without Jesus is just that – without Jesus. They are NO less or worse of a sinner. They simply don’t know the gift of grace, mercy and love without working for it in their lives. Which is why we must all extend it more and more and more so that others can taste and see the goodness of the Lord and they too shall desire Him!

    Praying for your family and brother!
    Much love,
    Jill

    What a beautiful post – grace is a hard thing for people to understand and truly live out. Grace is so much more. Grace is a gift in which you and I do nothing to receive it.

    We don’t earn it or work for it. God gives grace to the humble and resists the proud. We simply must humble ourselves daily and remind ourselves that we are a SINNER saved by grace.

    Saved dos NOT = no sin.

    We all still fall short of the glory of God. The world without Jesus is just that – without Jesus. They are NO less or worse of a sinner. They simply don’t know the gift of grace, mercy and love without working for it in their lives. Which is why we must all extend it more and more and more so that others can taste and see the goodness of the Lord and they too shall desire Him!

    Praying for your family and brother!
    Much love,
    Jill

    Great post, Ashley! I’d go even further & say that God gives grace on all occasions (not jus some). The whole act of the cross is grace. The fact that He does not punish our sins is only grace. This is something my family has really be digging into deeply in the last year. I have a book suggestion if you’d like it. I’ve been a Christian for almost all my life and this book turned my Christian walk around in such an awesome way.

    As far as extending grace, I know without a shadow of a doubt, when you realize how much grace has been extended to you, it makes it easier to give it to others.

    Beautiful post, Ashley! I will pray for your brother.

    PS. You have to look up the song GRACE LIKE RAIN. It has me crying like a baby every time I hear it.

    This really hit home for me today, especially the part about how God’s grace relates to the trial and all the rage that surrounds it.

    I will pray for your brother & mine and that they will find his light.

    Your a Blessing. I loved this blog .
    At one time I did think some had more Grace than others and why didnt I have it also when in fact I do. Im his and walk in his light or try to.
    xo

    Your words are powerful. Your message is the same. xoxo Thank you.
    Hard to move away..

    **sigh** why must you post this and be my voice of reason? :( Just kidding! thank you!!! totally spoke to me today.

    “Give people the benefit of a doubt. Not everyone is out to hurt you. If we only knew (or tried to understand) the baggage people carried around with them, we might be more gracious.”

    This is a lesson I have been learning in my life the last few months, maybe the last year. The more I learn about people, the more I realize some need to be extended more and more grace due to the circumstances they are constantly overcoming.

    This was an excellent post that gave me several needed reminders.

    Know that I am continuing to pray for the situation with your brother.

    Great Post Ashley!!! I often feel so thankful that our Heavenly Father is so willing to extend grace to us, ( me) on a regular basis.. So happy to get caught up with yu after our vaction!


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