I have been spending the last few days out in nature at a retreat for Pastors. The scenery has been wonderful and getting back in touch with God’s second book I have always found refreshing. To study God’s word together with a group of Pastors with the birds singing, the breeze moving noiselessly through the trees bringing with it it’s refreshing cooling. The early morning fog that forms across the top of the lake which slowly gives way to the rising sun. All show of God’s great love for us that even though nature is marred by sin, it still reflects the creators touch.
Our topic of thought has been Matthew 1:21: And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.
Specifically the phrase, for He will save His people from their sins. Based on this phrase the natural question is: “Who are His people?” We know how he saves people from their sins. He did this by dying on the cross. But we have often done a poor job determining who His people and what the requirements for being one of His people are.
We often say that a person is saved by grace, and then turn right around and add the word but. We often throw grace out the door and believe we can earn our way to heaven. Then there is what is referred to cheap grace. Grace that is handed out and once accepted then one can do whatever he or she wishes to do with no regard for the law or anything else.
Is grace cheap or does it come at a price? These are questions we have wrestled with. I came across this little quotation from the little but powerful book on the life of Christ. The Desire of Ages.
All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.
Grace, the grace of Christ is free to all his children. It does not matter your race, color, ethnic background, God’s grace is free to all.
 The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Mt 1:21.
 Ellen Gould White, The Desire of Ages, vol. 3, Conflict of the Ages Series (Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1898), 668.