Pastors love to preach about grace. The essence of the Good News, grace is unmerited favor from the all-powerful Creator of the world. There is perhaps no more satisfying message to deliver.
But does the average churchgoer really understand what grace means for them? Is it just another "Christianese" term that fails to resonate?
Bill Thomas' Surrounded by Grace: A Bible Study for Lent is a tool based on the Gospel of John to help pastors, small groups and congregations answer the question of what grace is in a modern context. From the story of Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana to his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, Thomas uses John's words to affirm that the Lord's favor extends to all no matter how insignificant we see ourselves or our problems.
Written to be utilized for individual or group study, or for worship services during the Lenten season, Surrounded by Grace encourages the imagination to ponder that there is no storm so great the Lord cannot overcome it; no pain so deep he will not sustain us through it; no death so final he will fail to resurrect us from it.
Bill Thomas is an associate pastor at First Christian Church of Washington, Missouri. Previously he has served as a minister at Northridge Church of Christ in Circleville, Ohio, and as pastor of Stony Point Christian Church in Kansas City, Kansas. Bill received a B.S. in Education from the University of Kansas, a Bachelor of Theology from Manhattan Christian College, and a Master of Arts from Johnson Bible College. His previously published works include The Road to Victory: A Pre-Easter Home Study and The Critical Questions ... And More: Three Pre-Easter Bible Studies (CSS Publishing). An avid sports fan who referees football and basketball, he is also the author of two young adult Christian books with a sports theme: Pete Thompson and the Long Road Home, and Pete Thompson and the Last Out (Publish America, 2004).