For the past couple of weeks thoughts on the grace of God has been swirling around in my head. In part because of a class taught at bible school and after that more and more as I read Romans Chapters 5-8 and the book of Galatians over and over for two weeks.
So often I have heard that grace is getting what we didn't deserve which is absolutely true, and also there's the acronym God's Riches At Christ's Expense which is also true but I am coming to realize that grace is so much more.
Actually, grace is everything to us.
Ephesians 2: 4 & 5 tells us "But because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved."
verses 8 & 9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.
We have been saved by grace, not just by faith, but grace through faith.
Interestingly Colossians 2:1 says, "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
How did we receive Christ Jesus? By grace through faith. How should we continue to live? By grace through faith. Therefore we don't just need grace for special occasions, we need grace just to live. If all we rely on is faith, we are so losing out. We must acknowledge the grace of God. We need grace to sustain our homes, grace on our jobs, grace in maintaining relationships.....we need the grace of God always.
Grace is not a theological concept or idea to a believer, grace is an experienced reality. Grace is our life, its is what flows from God. Grace is Jesus personified. Grace is the life Jesus lived and the gift He gave us when He went to calvary.
Remember what Paul said to the church at Galatia? "Are you so foolish having begun in the Spirit are you now made perfect by the flesh?" 3:3 Why do we start off with the grace of God but then try to live by our works? The work was done by Jesus, we are to receive it and walk in it. Nothing we could ever do could save us or change us. It has to be the grace of God.
We can't read our bibles enough.
We can't pray enough.
We can't give enough tithes and offerings.
We can't go church often enough.
It's not our works, it's the grace of God. Would we dare to acknowledge the need to rest on His grace and grace alone? The revelation of God's grace delivers us from a performance mentality to total trust and reliance upon His goodness and His grace. The amazing grace of God is what sets christianity apart from every other religion in the world.
Our salvation as we said above came by grace through faith, but it's not just a ticket to heaven, it's a package deal for the time we have here on earth. Our salvation is not just forgiveness of sins, that package includes; deliverance, healing, prosperity and whatever else we need. The grace of God is the power of God for all those things.
Grace is the gift of God.
We should receive it.
Why do we struggle day after day to receive from God what He has already placed before us? Why do we work so hard to earn acceptance from God when His grace covers it all? We work hard at studying the word, fasting, praying and still wonder why we have not received our breakthrough or why not our healing. But if we look at it closely, it's the same thing Paul wrote about: doing, doing, doing, to get God's attention. Our deliverance is not based on what we do, but on what Jesus did.
Man is no longer under the law. The law was truth but it could not bring about change. As the word said, if we offended in one point of the law we offended in all. Basically the law came so that we might see how much we really needed God, but it did not give us the ability to transform. Jesus did. He came to give us grace.
John 1:17 For the law(truth)was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the source of God's ability.
Our ability continues to cause us to fall flat on our faces. The word encourages us to trust God and let go of all that we hold on to.
If while we were enemies of the cross, Jesus died for us, now that we are saved why wouldn't He continue to extend His grace towards us? How is it that we were able to trust God's grace 100% for our salvation but not 100% for our healing or for our prosperity? Remember Paul said, continue the way we started out....by grace through faith.
Again, it is the gift of God and not of ourselves. It's not our works.
In our own strength we might do a bit, but would it last?
In our own strength we probably may get a book deal, but without His grace, will it really be right for us?
In our own strength we may drop some bad habits, but will there be total transformation without the grace of God?
In our own strength we could ace that interview and even get the job, but without the grace of God will it satisfy?
Let's receive the grace of God that came in the person of Jesus. Not just a nice saying, not just an acronym or a grand concept, but let's receive the reality of grace in our lives.
God doesn't move in proportion to our performance. He moves when we apply what Jesus did on the cross.
I know this is a lot to take in, but I so hope that you like me, will start to take steps away from what you are doing and completely rely on what Jesus did.
He did a finished work, for whatever you or I need.
It's a gift, let's accept it.