I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way. (Mark 1:2)

THE GRACE OF GOD is always going before us and preparing the way for our salvation. Just as John the Baptist went before Jesus to prepare the way for the Jews to believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit goes before us and prepares us to understand forgiveness and salvation.

Without the grace of God drawing us, we would never desire God on our own. We prefer to believe we don’t need help to be good. Who likes to think of themselves as sinful and abhorrent to God? Certainly the Jews in John’s day all went astray and chose self over God. However, God graciously draws us to himself, and we never even know that all our righteousness is as filthy rags to God. So gracious is He that He calls us friends and loves us.

I think of James, who came to church originally as an agnostic—just didn’t know if there was a God. A major stroke had left him barely able to walk. But he limped his way into church and found a loving welcome. He never understood the grace wooing him to Jesus. Only weeks before James died from another massive stroke, he told me: “This is my church and my God and my community.” Grace had done its work again.

Let God’s grace take you where you need to go.

Kathy Bence lives in Idaho with her professor husband, Phil.