Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Exceptional Grace, Exceptional Gratitude

Bible Hand Read
Author Biography

    Born in the same city as CBN itself (Portsmouth, VA), Aaron enjoys being one of the few home-grown employees. He and his wife Michele are grateful for their “Little” family complete with one son and one daughter. Aaron is an active member at his church where he also serves as one of the guitarists on the worship team.

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Aaron M. Little - Sr. Manager, 700 Club Digital Media

Have you ever benefited from a situation where the good outcome had nothing to do with your effort or ability? Something good just came out of nowhere and you did nothing to earn it? As Christians, we call this “favor” or, “being blessed.” These sweet moments in life can be few and far between, but most of us have enjoyed these unique and random experiences.

I grew up in the 1980s and 90s. For those who categorize history by sports and in particular professional basketball, this period is known as, “The Jordan Era.” Michael Jordan represented outstanding talent mixed with showmanship and a healthy dose of competitive drive. For adolescent boys of this time, Michael Jordan was the ultimate athlete and role model. So, when I had the opportunity to attend NBA All-Star weekends in the 1990s as a perk of my father’s job, it was a blessing that even a teenager could recognize.

I saw many other NBA stars. I was in the same building as Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins, Larry Bird and Shaquille O’Neal. I had encounters with legends Julius Erving, Bill Russell, and Rick Barry. I witnessed Magic Johnson’s return to the court after announcing he had HIV, and Kobe Bryant’s first NBA All-Star Weekend appearance.

Thirty years later, the opportunity to witness this lightning-in-a-bottle era of professional basketball in person still amazes me. I was reading from the book of Titus in the New Testament and was reminded that my Father God also gave me something I didn’t deserve. His grace provided something far more valuable than a seat in the hallowed NBA arenas of the 1990s. I have been given an inheritance of the King of kings and a seat at His table.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people for his own possession, eager to do good works. Proclaim these things; encourage and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you. (Titus 2:11-15 CSB)

God’s grace appeared in human form over 2,000 years ago. Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, took the penalty of death to pay for my sin. Jesus took the penalty of death to pay for your sin. The grace of God appeared and brought salvation for all people. This is the pinnacle of benefiting from a situation where the good outcome has nothing to do with our effort or ability!

We cannot stop at verse 11. We are charged to live lives as Christians who renounce godlessness and worldly lusts. God desires for us to live sensibly and to pursue righteousness in all our daily decisions. Jesus died to redeem us from lawlessness so that we can be cleansed from all that makes us dirty in this life. Jesus died because God wants to spend eternity with us after life in this fallen world. God has given us the greatest gift in all human history because of His great love for His creation. Oh, how this revelation amazes me far beyond my dwindling recollections of aged and departed sports heroes.

Christians are the beneficiaries of the best outcome in the history of the world. May we live lives worthy of this gift. Verse 15 provides the charge: Proclaim these things; encourage and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you. Celebrate life’s sweet moments with your family and friends. Count your blessings. But never cease to be amazed by the greatest gift ever given… and don’t forget to tell everyone you know how it can be their greatest gift as well.


Scripture is quoted from the Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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