Understanding, really understanding, the Grace of God is the one thing that will help us in our journey as a christian beyond anything else. I don’t mean simply knowing what the word means, though that is a helpful starting point, but knowing it deeply inside your heart and soul and mind – in other words, what I am recommending, is to get a revelation of grace.
The topic of grace is sufficient to fill pages and pages, even a whole book is probably insufficient to fully explore the topic and this post will only scratch the surface. However, I hope to talk about grace sufficiently to motivate you into wanting to get a revelation about it and excite you about the possibilities of what could happen in our lives once we really get it. I hope that what I have to say will speak to your heart or rather, I hope that God is able to speak to your heart via what I have to say.
I cannot speak about grace without speaking of Gods love for us. Gods love for us is the biggest example of grace, illustrated in particular by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, His son.
Think about this for a moment. There is nothing we can do to make God love us less, and nothing we can do to make Him love us more.
Think of something that you could do that you think God would like – regularly reading your bible, attending church every Sunday perhaps, or working at the local homeless shelter or even, maybe more dramatically, selling or giving all your worldly possessions in order to raise money to help feed the poor. You could do these things and they will certainly help your life and help the lives of others. But they will not make God love you any more. They will not get God to increase the amount of love He has for you. He already loves you with an infinite boundless love that can fill you to overflowing and, most importantly, Gods love for you is based on His decision, not on what you do or don’t do.
Similarly, think about something that you could do that you think God would not like. None of us are perfect, we probably regularly do something that we know is hurtful to God or to ourselves or other people. When you do that thing, when you hurt someone emotionally or physically, or when you do something that harms your own relationship with God, God does not start to love you less. Not even a little bit less. What ever you do, however wrong you think it is or was, God still loves you just as much. Gods love for you is based on His decision to love you, not based on what you do or don’t do.
This love, this decision to love us, irrespective of our actions, is an example of grace. We don’t deserve to be loved as God loves us. We have done nothing, and could do nothing that would cause the creator of the universe to think he aught to love us. But He does.
Grace, undeserved favour. Do we deserve gods love? Do we deserve it regardless of what we do? Whether you answer that with a yes or a no, we are given Gods love. In abundance, overflowing, more than we can contain, God wants to fill us with his love.
Dad, Dad, do you still love me, our doubts say to us inside, do you still love me even though I have again done that thing that causes you pain?
Yes, my child, I still love you. Not only do I love you, I forgive you, and I will heal you, clean you, and celebrate your life. Again and again as many times as is necessary.
Dad do I have to do something to make it right? What punishment must I endure?
My child, I love you, all you need to do is come to me and accept my love. Accept my forgiveness, accept my grace.
How hard this seems to be for us to do sometimes! That action of simply coming to God and accepting His forgiveness and His grace. Do you understand, can you grasp it, the depths and the strength of Gods love and Grace for us?
King David is one of my favourite characters from the bible. Maybe I am biased because I share his name. But what I love about him is that he clearly understands about grace, and this is before Jesus was born. David is a very human King. He messes up, repeatedly, breaking many of the Gods laws. And yet he is described as a man after Gods own heart. He repeatedly repents of his mistakes, he returns to God every time. For example, how many of us have arranged for someone to be killed so that we can sleep with their spouse? No don’t answer, I don’t want to know. But, King David did that! [2 Sam 11] And then, in the next chapter [2 Sam 12:22], all be it a few months later, he is praying to God for the life of his son, believing for God to have grace and to and heal his son.
Do you have that same understanding of Gods grace? Can you go your own way, do something that hurts God, others, or yourself, and still return to God? Asking for his forgiveness, believing in his love and Grace? I encourage you, try it. Please don’t kill anyone. Don’t go out of your way to go against Gods way for us to live. But are any of us perfect? No, we are bound to make a mistake again, and when we do, we should go straight to God. When you do so, you will experience His grace [Rom 5:20]. I know this personally, because I have done this, and He has the same grace for you that He has for me.
Experiencing grace is the best way of understanding it, not just intellectually understanding, but understanding it deeply, in your heart. We experience grace from God, but also we experience it from one another. Every time we show grace to someone, we help them to experience grace and to get a better understanding of it. Then they in turn are more able to be gracious to others, but it all starts from God. In particular, showing grace to those who don’t have a relationship with God is important. Such people don’t recognise their own experiences of Gods grace to them, so we can illustrate God to them, by being gracious ourselves, on His behalf.
I know it is difficult. It is hard to show grace sometimes. But it is also, surprisingly, hard to accept grace sometimes and it is only through learning to accept and experience grace for ourselves that we are then able show grace to others. God is overflowing with grace for us, He wants us to take it from him. Believe and have faith, at every opportunity, for Gods favour on and in your life.
Many of the parables Jesus told have got grace at the centre of their message. In fact it is the grace illustrated in the those parables which made the stories so significant, and in some cases hard to accept. The parable of the workers in the vineyard [Mat 20] ends with the land owner illustrating grace. The ones he hired last did not deserve the same pay, but the land owner chose to be generous, he chose to give undeserved favour – grace, in the form of generous wages- to them.
The story of the prodigal son [Luk 15:11-32], with his father, full of grace, running to him [Luk 15:20] and celebrating the sons return [Luk 15:22-24]. Give a banquet and invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind [Luk 14:13] – show these people grace, favour them with the banquet, and the following parable of the great banquet [Luk 14:15-24]. Not to forget all the people whom Jesus actively favoured by healing them. They had not done anything to deserve such favour, they did not pay Him, some didn’t even ask [Mat 12:13], many did not even thank Him [Luk 17:11-19], and Jesus didn’t ask them for anything in return, but they were all given a free gift of healing – grace in action.
Once we can really fully accept grace, and let it flow into us and out again, when we really “get it”. When we do that, I believe that our lives will radically change and we will really start to shine with the light, love and grace of God. Just imagine what your family would be like if every one always had grace for one-another. Imagine if that were the case in your local church, or neighbourhood. Imagine it extends to your whole town, city, country. Imagine living in a world full of grace, people who at every opportunity, will favour one another with love, forgiveness, help, finances, food, shelter, etc, without asking anything in return. How exciting is that thought? Well, it all starts with us as individuals fully grasping, understanding, how much grace God shows to us.
Getting such a revelation is normally a process. Some are lucky and have a “Road to Damascus” moment [Acts 9:1-19]. But for me any many others it is a journey, a process, and the best way to proceed along this journey is to practice. Practice receiving grace. Once we regularly appreciate and recognise how much grace is given to us by God, I believe we cannot help ourselves, but to give grace out in return. So practice receiving, then give out of what you have received. God gives, we take from Him, and are then able to give to others.
God loves to give to us. He gives love, healing, blessings, friendships, families… You name it, what is it that you are in need of, or even just wanting. You have a loving father who wants to give to you. Live in the expectation of receiving His undeserved favour in every circumstance of your life and don’t question whether you deserve it or not. Of course you don’t deserve it. God gives to us because of His love for us, not because of what we do or don’t do.
Grace, undeserved favour, go and practice receiving it.
- Grace is one of the most important concepts from Christianity
- We experience grace from one-another and from God – in particular the grace given via and through the life, death and resurrection of Christ.
- The best way to get a revelation of grace is to practice receiving it. The results will transform your life and the life of those around you.