Grace has been highlighted in my life of late. Maybe you’ve noticed it too. Maybe you have not and need to. Either way, I wanted to touch on it because it seems so many times it is misunderstood. I know I have took it wrong a great deal in my life.
Grace, by it’s very nature, is free. It cannot be bought or earned. If there is payment in any way, it is no longer Grace.
Do not mistake the fact that Grace being free was free. It was paid for in some fashion. It always is. But never by the one receiving it.
Grace can be stubbed. For it to truly do it’s greatest work (whether from a fellow human or from God) it must flow through us unto others. “Paying It Forward” is not a new concept.
Grace will cost the giver. God paid for it with His Son. What will your cost be to give it to others?
You cannot give Salvation to others. That comes from God alone. But you can give Grace.
You should always buckle up with a seat belt and Grace when driving.
Once you have children, you will experience the joy of giving Grace.
Many will tell you that Grace has been cheapened by those who purport “hyper-grace.” Putting Grace to every part of their life. God’s Grace was given at the beginning. Before you sinned. Before I sinned. It existed already. A level offered to all who needed it. There is no such thing as hyper-grace. Man cannot attain the level of Grace God gives. But he will complain because the “workers” who came late in the day received that which he’d spent the day trying to earn. (Matthew 20:1-6)
Grace says “I love you anyway,” to the murderer. The rapist. The thief. The liar. The bully. The homosexual. The average Joe. The Muslim. The devil worshiper. The taxi driver. The dock worker. The actor. The superstar. The lazy son-in-law. The brilliant CEO. The greatest of sinners and the righteous preacher.
Grace does not judge. It does not lie or feign a happy outlook, but it does not judge. First, and above all, it loves. It extends the good which was given it. It does not pay evil for evil. Grace is a decision of leniency despite the guilt.
Grace does not cause shame, but will hide the one shamed. Grace will take the blame to keep another from suffering. Grace sees the guilty through eyes of understanding and tenderness.
Grace is a man experiencing the results of his own decisions, yet being able to smile. A long time captive, hugging and praying with their captor. Grace is a mother forgiving the one who took her own away from her.
Grace is one of the greatest gifts God ever gave to mankind. And it was given thousands of years ago in a garden where disobedience and sin first came to be. Since that time, it has grown through man, but the level that God gave then is still the same. Far beyond what we can imagine.
Romans 3: 21-24 via The Message:
“But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.”
The Word of God. This is Grace!