It is more than just saying a prayer at dinner time. It is more than being “gracious” on a sports field after a loss. Grace is something that can be offered to more than just a friend in need. Grace is something that can be profoundly life changing when offered to a complete stranger or even an enemy.
Grace is defined in the spiritual realms as “God’s unmerited favor”. This means that grace or God’s love and forgiveness is offered to those who don’t even deserve it. It’s like going to an execution of a known guilty convict, and just before they “flip the switch” the governor calls to say the guilty convict has been pardoned.
It just doesn’t seem to make sense. Shouldn’t that person pay for their crimes? That person certainly didn’t deserve anything but punishment, and yet grace was provided without merit.
God comes through to us in our wretched state. Jesus was sent to us despite ourselves, despite how undeserved we were. God knew that in our total depravity we were hopelessly lost and doomed to suffer our sinner’s fate…yet He still sent Christ. Jesus took upon Himself the sins of all mankind and they were nailed to the cross with Him. Knowing this brings John 14 into perspective:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Jesus declares to His disciples and to us as well that grace has come into the world. He also reminds us of the way to the Father is through Him alone.
We can receive this grace from God the moment we cry out to Him. We can not only be forgiven from our wretched sins and shame but we can be washed clean from them. God’s grace is like that. It is His desire that no one suffer death because of sin. Jesus has given us the way to receive His grace – declare Him to be God’s one and only Son! Ask Him to forgive your sins, and live this new life through Jesus! http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/files/lwcF_crd_ss_EforESpec_ABCs-of-Salvation_pdf.pdf
To keep on “the way” and living within His grace perhaps begin by reading the words of the gospel of John, or another of the gospels. Spend time reading a chapter a day, pray for God to guide you as you read His truths, and ask God for direction. Lastly find a church to call home. Find a church family to get plugged into and to connect with. When you have roots such as these in the Christian faith you will grow!
Lastly, I want you consider something. Here it is: forgive those who have wronged you! I know, it’s hard to fathom ever forgiving THAT person, but when we forgive as Christ has forgiven us it not only frees other people but it frees us too. We no longer have to curry these grudges and hurts around with us. We no longer have to be burdened by pains that happened to us. Surrendering these hurts and grudges may be the hardest thing we ever do, but trust me, it is worth it.
God gave us unmerited grace. We didn’t deserve it, and yet it is offered to us. Can we learn to forgive as well? Can we truly learn to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44)? Grace is real, free, and available. Accept it and then offer it to others!
-Just something else to ponder today!
Prayer: Dear Lord help me to accept Your grace today! Guide me in Your truths, I want to serve you and love you with every fiber of my being. Forgive me of my sins. Help me to accept Your grace and in turn forgive those around me. Lord I need to be freed of these burdens. Grant me Your strength and wisdom to love my enemy. Show me practical way in which I can show love and forgiveness today. In Your name I pray all of these things. -Amen.