By the Grace of God

When I was growing up the word grace meant a few different things to me; a prayer we said before meals, the name of a girl, a way of moving (which I never mastered by the way), or a period of time given to finish an assignment or pay a bill.

Then there is God’s grace.

God’s grace is unmerited favour. It cannot be earned, cannot be bought, but is only freely given as a gift.

We are all surrounded by the grace and goodness of God:

  • the spark of life
  • the air we breathe
  • each heart beat
  • seeing colour
  • free choice
  • taste buds
  • food to eat
  • warmth
  • shelter
  • relationships
  • etc., etc., etc., the list is endless

“Every burning star a signal fire of grace.”

I Will by Hillsong Worship

However, the greatest act of grace from God is His forgiveness. Undeserving, unmerited, unsought for grace for all our sins through the broken, bleeding, pierced body of His Only Son Jesus Christ. This grace is only received through repentance and faith.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,” Titus 2:11 NASB

The grace of God is so far beyond our feeble imaginations.

“Grace chose you, grace sought you, grace drew you, grace forgave you, grace reconciled you, grace transforms you, grace empowers you and grace will deliver you. It really is grace upon grace, upon grace, upon….”

Paul David Tripp

Because we are showered with so much grace, God calls us to show grace to those we interact with every day.

I am ashamed to say that I fail in this horribly! So often I react with only my self in mind. One of my sons recently and glibly told me that I was judgmental and opinionated. OUCH!!!

After the initial sting and denial of that wore off, I was forced to acknowledge to myself that deep in my soul I knew he was right. I could quickly deny it to him but even as I was, that still small voice was saying, “uhhh….really?” I wanted him to be wrong but the more I mulled it over, I knew it was true.

This is why I need grace. This is why I need to be in God’s Word every day. To be reminded. To learn how to show more grace. To learn how to be more like Christ.

Now you may be thinking, like I was initially, that my son was rather mean and rude. Yet his words were also God’s grace to me. The best thing God can do for me is not leave me where I am! His love and grace brings people and events into my life that will cause me to pause and think about my attitudes and behaviors and drive me to Him. God is in the business of changing me and molding me more into the likeness of Christ. This is my prayer and my son was part of the answer to that prayer.

I believe God is calling us to show grace to each other even more in these challenging days. We are all hurting and struggling in different ways.

  • loneliness
  • ailing parents
  • family far away
  • online schooling
  • working from home with kids
  • being an essential worker
  • fear of getting sick
  • being susceptible to this virus
  • and the list goes on

What works for one family/person, doesn’t work for another. What we see isn’t always the whole story. We all need grace. We all need to be encouraged. Even if it’s just an understanding smile.

“The gospel is not the thing that just gets you into the kingdom, the gospel is the only way you can face everything in life.” Timothy Keller

So how do we deal with our challenges and struggles and the people around us. By God’s grace. When things overwhelm us, when people are disappointing us or irritating us, when life is not going the way we had planned, we need to turn to the Lord and praise him for His grace. We need to look at what He gave us on the cross and think; since Christ died for us, does He not also care about what is best for us now? When life is hard and confusing think about the graciousness of God which is all around us.

In Matthew 11:25-29, Christ himself turned to the Father and praised Him for his grace so he (Christ) could face the road ahead.

If we understand the grace of God we will look and act toward others in a new way.

Dear ones, be encouraged to look to our loving Father when life seems out of control. He is our rest and our only hope. He is the only one with all the answers and He has promised to be with us in the midst of all our circumstances.

Be well!

Patricia

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