Grace is more than not getting what you deserved — it’s getting something far better. A mother out in the country asked her little boy to fill her glass pitcher with water from a nearby spring. On the way, the boy had to cut through a crowded town center. As he filled up his pitcher, he rushed back home through the town center when he accidently collided with a man and dropped it. The pitcher shattered on the hard, brick walkway.

Hurt from the fall — and afraid of getting in trouble with his mother — he started to cry. The man helped the boy to his feet and introduced himself as a local preacher. He told the boy, “I’m sorry about your pitcher, son. Here, let me get another one for you.” And with that, he brought the boy to his house, where he gave him a porcelain pitcher full of water.

“I’m afraid that’s about the best I can do, son. Do you think you’ll still get in trouble with your mother now?”

“Oh no, mister, this pitcher’s even better than the other one.”

That is what grace does. As Charles Spurgeon once said, grace can go into the gutter, and bring up a jewel. Think about it — God’s grace not only saves us from the penalty we deserve for our sins, but it turns us into something better. Only by grace could God take sinners like you and me and turn us into priceless treasures that will carry out His work in the world.

If receiving forgiveness should make us forgiving, and receiving love should make us loving, then receiving grace ought to make us gracious. Christians ought to be the most gracious people in the world, because they have received the most grace. That means that we should look beyond others’ faults and see their needs. It means we need to remember the grace God’s given to us and give it out by the pitcher-full to others.

Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace. — Jerry Bridges

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder