Every time I hear grace the immediate meaning I link with this word is – “Anything Good that I do not deserve”. And, it’s true!
Grace is God giving you anything perfectly good according to His will, which you don’t deserve.
I started counting my gracious gifts- my son, my husband, my house, my car, my finances, my church, my pastor, my folks, my God-ordained friends … and the list is never ending. I can count each and every blessing of mine with an understanding that for the sinner that I am, and the acts I have committed to bring displeasure to my Father in heaven, I deserve none of these. But, the Gracious Father makes a choice to pour these on me.
But is that all grace is about? Paul says, that where sin abounds grace abounds much more (Romans 5: 20). We read it and go to console others and ourselves, “Don’t worry if this sin is too great, His grace is strong enough to wipe it off”. Yes! Absolutely. But if those very words give us a picture that the not very evidential sins – a bad thought, a lie, a manipulation, an omission, a sarcasm, disrespect, worry, covetousness … are okay to commit once in a while; then we have trampled on grace with contempt. Also, without true repentance grace has no role to play.
Even then grace is more than an act of repentance. Let’s see a verse in the book of Titus 2: 11-12 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age“. Can this verse speak louder into the hearts of each of us who have committed our lives to give away for our Lord and Savior?
Above everything else, grace is a gift bestowed on us to walk in ways that pleases God alone. Grace invades our lives with a clear ground of its own:
Run away from anything that leads us away from God;
Abandon the lusts and passions of this world;
Live life now in this age with awareness and self-control,
Doing the right thing and keeping yourselves holy (The Voice).
God’s sovereign grace reigns in our lives as we live by its instructions. If not, the peak of moments of encountering God’s graciousness in our lives drips down drastically. Especially when we don’t choose to yield to the Holy Spirit to prune and transform us in the Word.
Beloved, God is loving! The intensity of His love is truly beyond fathom and measurement. But this loving God is a judge too. He sent His very own Son to die for our deliberate and unintentional sins on the Cross. If this gift of salvation doesn’t make us hate what He hates and love what He loves, then grace invalidates its role in our lives.
When the prodigal son was adamant, the Father knew this kind of attitude would lead his son to nothing but a pit. The sinful attitude of his son strained the Father to let him go into the judgment of absolute truth. The love of the Father never dissolved. But, the grace that would have operated in favor for the son, if he didn’t leave his Father’s house for temporary gain, wore out. The moment, he got back and decided never to do what he did, grace activated even in the most stinking state. The Father knew, that His son who was found would never ever go back to being lost. This knowledge alone of seeing through the Son’s heart made him call forth a grand party!