Definition of Grace
The online dictionary gives several definitions of grace, but for this article, I will concentrate on just these two:
- simple elegance, or refinement of movement
- (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings
But What Really is Grace?
Different teachers, preachers, authors, and theologians describe God’s grace in these ways:
Grace is getting what you don’t deserve, different from mercy, which is NOT getting what you do deserve.
Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits on the undeserving. AW Tozer
Grace is God giving the greatest treasure to the least deserving.
Grace is the love of God shown to the unlovely; the peace of God given to the restless; the unmerited favor of God.
Grace is the unmerited, loving favor and graciousness of our Creator. It’s a wonderful gift that should motivate us to live in the way that pleases God.
God’s favor is not limited by our ability to understand it, or even see it. For many years, grace for me was only an idea – the “unmerited favor of God”, my only hope for escaping eternal punishment for my sins.
“Grace is the supernatural power of God regenerating us and opening our blind eyes so that we can see Christ for who he really is”
Grace is so much more than gifts of unmerited favor, it’s the supernatural power of God regenerating us and opening our blind eyes so that we can see Christ for who he really is. God’s movement in our lives works for our good, restoring us, cleaning us up to see Him in all of His glory.
I read a book awhile back, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, that was life changing for me. Ann, who was a list maker by nature, was challenged by a friend in an email, to write a list of a thousand things she loved. A thousand things she was grateful for. As a result, she began to see that these blessings were gifts, gifts of grace.
“she dares me, and I don’t even blink. Could I write a list of a thousand things I love? I read her line again. As in, begin another list? To name one thousand blessings—one thousand gifts—is that what she means? Sure, whatever….sometimes you don’t know when you’re taking the first step through a door until you’re already inside. I grab a scrap of paper …. I scratch it down: Gift List. 1.Morning shade 2. jam piled high on the toast 3.cry of blue jay from high in the spruce….that is the beginning and I smile. I can’t believe how I smile. I don’t know they are gifts really until I write them down and that is really what they look like. Gifts He bestows. This writing it down–it is sort of like…unwrapping love. “
Gratitude revealed His Grace
Before long, it began to happen in my own life as well. By counting my own blessings, I too began to recognize that my life was full of moments where God showed His favor toward me. Blessing after blessing, gift after gift. Grace began to show itself in the most unlikely places or so I thought. But grace had been there all along and I was just beginning to discover that Gods goodness abounds, everywhere! Gratitude cracked through that hard exterior that had me blinded to His Grace and I began to see Christ in all His glory, showing His grace to me. HIS GRACE. Amazing Grace.
More than Just Blessings
Grace is more than just God’s favor or blessings. Above all, we are saved by this grace when we believe.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
In essence, the only way any of us can enter into a relationship with God is because of His grace towards us.
God’s grace preserves us, and comforts us, it encourages and strengthens us.
His amazing grace is endless. Abounding.
John 1:16 …and from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Grace upon Grace? Favor heaped upon favor. Blessings and more blessings!
There is no list of qualifiers, but the choice is ours. Accepting Jesus, accepting the grace offered at the cross, with thanksgiving, opens our hearts to freely receive all that God chooses to bless us with. We don’t have to be good enough, or perfect enough to receive His favor.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
The grace of God flows downhill, like water, pulled by the force of gravity. It flows to the low places in our lives covering our brokenness, our sorrows, our sin, our despair, and our weaknesses. It rains down on the lonely, the poor, and the struggling. God’s love reaches down into the innermost parts of our beings healing us, restoring us.
Recognizing God’s goodness is so important that we are told to look out for each other so that no one misses His grace. Because of this, we have a duty to share His grace with others, proclaiming His goodness in our lives.
Hebrews 12:15 “Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God.”
Father God, help us to live fully recognizing your amazing grace. Help us to stay focused on you, and not the circumstances of this world that try to rob us of our joy. Fill our hearts with your perfect peace that we may be able to show your glory to others. In as much, Lord let our hearts be filled with thanksgiving for your amazing grace.
In Jesus, precious Name.