What Grace has Written

Today’s text:    2 Chronicles 10-12      2 Corinthians 3

I recall reading a news report of a man who had found a scrap of paper that he thought was of great value. It was just an old stained envelope that that someone had written a recipe on. He discovered the envelope while he was doing some demolition work on a house he was renovating outside of Corbin, Kentucky. It first caught his attention simply because it appeared to be quite old and discolored. As he examined the document he saw that the recipe had been changed several times. Most of the proportions and several ingredients had been marked out or otherwise altered. It wasn’t until he looked at the front of the envelope that he realized the significance of his find. The letter had been addressed to Harland Sanders and apparently was an early draft of what later became the famous “eleven herbs and spices” recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken. In the press release the executives for KFC downplayed the significance of the find saying it was not complete but wasted no time buying the old envelope at a hefty price and whisking it a away to their headquarters in Louisville.

What made the old envelope noteworthy wasn’t the value of the paper but rather the few lines that had been indelibly written there. A few words written by a man quite familiar with poverty but who continued to hold to the belief that hard work and commitment could provide a means to a better living.

In today’s reading Paul rhetorically ask the Corinthians if he needs to provide letters of recommendation to attest to the work he had done. Then he goes on to remind them that they themselves are the evidence.

2Corinthians 3:2-3 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. (3) You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Nothing speaks more triumphantly of the fruits of a servant’s labor than the evidence of what has been indelibly written on the hearts of those to whom they have ministered. We like the Corinthians are an epistle or letter. Words have been written on our heart that impact how we live every minute of every day. In fact it has often been said that we are the only bible that many will ever read. C.H. Spurgeon wrote, “A man’s life is always more forcible than his speech. When men take stock of him they reckon his deeds as dollars and his words as pennies. If his life and doctrine disagree the mass of onlookers accept his practice and reject his preaching.”

Our challenge is to live consistent to and worthy of the words love has penned upon our heats. We read in 1John. 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

As I write this I can’t help but be mindful of my youngest son. Alex will be leaving next week to start his career in the Marine Corps. When Sharon and I think about the distance and time that will separate us from our son the tears freely flow. We understand the meaning of Hebrews 11:23 where we read that the parents of Moses knew from his infancy that “He was no ordinary child.” While tears of pain may fill our eyes they are comingled with tears of pride. We are proud of the man our son has become and rejoice in the character that speaks of the words that grace has written upon his heart. One thing I would ask of you, when you pray be mindful of my son Richard Alexander McGill.

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About Richard McGill

Hi, my name is Richard McGill and my family and I started attending CCC shortly after moving to the area eighteen years ago. Although eighteen years may sound like a long time it has past by so quickly. My wife, Sharon, and I have seen our four children grow and have twice experienced that bitter sweet day when we have loosened our grasp so that our children, could begin families of their own. Sharon and I have been more than rewarded for our sacrifices in that we again, on occasion, have in our home the squeals of laughter that only comes from innocence and youth. We revel in the titles that have been bestowed by sweet little voices and thrill to hear them say Papa and Memaw. In addition to our two married children we have two that are preparing for their future through education. Jenny is finishing her sophomore year at SIU and Alex will graduate from high school this spring. Throughout the past eighteen years I have been privileged to serve in several capacities at CCC. I have been a small group leader, greeter, usher, in the Easter production, on the worship team and have taught Sunday School. While I am honored to be asked to contribute to this most recent effort, I can’t help but wonder if they’re not still trying to find something that I am good at. View all posts by Richard McGill

4 responses to “What Grace has Written

  • Phyllis

    We are praying for all of you. Trusting and releasing is painful. Love your family.

  • mikj45

    The old saying a picture is worth a thousand words. We can talk all day long of what Christ has done in our lives, but if it does not show in the way we live our lives before others and toward others the whole testimony of our lips fall flat. Action speaks volumes.

    As the old saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words. We can talk all day long about what Christ has done in our lives, but if our life does not show in our actions toward others it is like Paul said in II Corinthians 13 we are but a sounding bell with no meaning. Just remember we as Christians are always on display and others are watching our every move and word.

  • drphilipnordstrom

    Good stuff as usual Richard. Love to you and yours.

  • Christen

    Not only have you and mom led by example, but us children have never had to wonder which side you’re on.  We know you side with God; even if it puts us in the wrong.
    Now as a mother of three I see the challenges of raising Godly children.  I suspect I feel a similar crushing  responsibility to raise my children for the Lord as you did.  I find myself often using your techniques and the wisdom you passed on to teach my kids the gospel. 
    So while you and mom never traveled to foreign nations to preach the gospel, know you’ve still produced much fruit.  And as the baby of the family leaves for unfamiliar territory know he has the comfort of his faith and the absolute certainty of his future because of you.  I love you dad. 

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