G is for Grace –
The definition of grace isn’t something that is difficult to understand. It means “unmerited favor”. Unmerited means “undeserved” and favor is defined as “an act of kindness beyond what is due”. Putting that all together we could say that grace is undeserved kindness.
It seems though, that it is a difficult for people to fully comprehend God’s grace. We, as humans, have a hard time understanding anything that is free, especially when it is undeserved. Yet, it is something we must accept in order to receive the gift of salvation. It is impossible to be good enough or work our way to heaven. In Galatians 2:21, Paul states, “I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.”
But Christ did have to die and God, in His great love for humanity, is the one who set it all into motion. This is verified in Ephesians 1:7, “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.”
Even after salvation, we often feel we have to be good enough, act a certain way and work valiantly for God’s love. God continues to provide the gift of grace, that unmerited favor, on a continual basis, but we allow stubbornness and guilt to keep us from experiencing this amazing, perpetual gift from God. He knows we can’t live perfect lives and that we will need to ask for forgiveness. That same grace that He extended through salvation is the grace He gives time and time again. It’s not that we lose our salvation and have to be saved over and over again, we just have to make things right between ourselves and God by asking for forgiveness, just as we do anyone we have wronged.
We don’t have to be afraid and can go to Him, knowing that He will forgive us. Hebrews 4:16 so beautifully describes this. “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
On the other hand, grace isn’t a ticket to do whatever we want. Romans 6:15 clearly defines this point, “Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not!” When we sin, we open ourselves up for the consequences of that sin. Usually those consequences are painful. However, we don’t have to live under self-condemnation or the condemnation of others. There is always hope. There is always love. If we ask, there is always forgiveness.
You see, when we are saved our lives are never the same. Because of God’s grace and salvation, we can live our lives knowing that we have been forever changed. I LOVE how Colossians 1:6 sums it up. “This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.”
All of today’s scriptures come from the The New Living Translation.