In your own words, what does grace mean to you?
Many of us use the term grace loosely, by putting an introductory word before it, like that’s my saving grace, we sing the song amazing grace, we even say grace around our dinner tables before eating. Grace is such a beautiful entity by itself and doesn’t really need another presiding word next to it.
What is grace and why do we even need it?
In case you haven’t seen the news lately, our world is a pretty corrupt and evil place. We need grace like we need oxygen to breathe.
Grace is one of those definitions we can read from a book, but isn’t really understood until we’ve received it.
Grace by definition means the ‘unmerited favor of God towards man.’
Grace is something God freely gives us. There’s an antinomy of grace which exists where we are all given the free gift of grace, something we could never earn or deserve. Yet how could we be freely given something without ever earning or deserving it?
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–” Ephesians 2:8
The answer is simply, because He loves us.How many of us have gotten close enough to grace to see what the grace of God really entails? Click To TweetThere are so many pictures of grace in which Jesus shows us He loves us despite our shortcomings, our failures and mistakes.
We see His grace in the story of The Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32, when a father takes back his son after he left and spent all of his inheritance. He celebrates his return with the fattest cow in the herd to show his son how much he missed and loved him. He didn’t chastise him. He didn’t give him a lecture, ‘I told you so.’ He embraced him with his undying love sending the message, ‘you are loved and I missed you.’
We see His grace with Peter in John 21:15-25, when Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me?” He asks him the same question three times in a row, the same amount of times Peter denied Jesus after he was captured by Roman soldiers. Asking Peter to profess his love for him the same amount of times Peter denied him, invited him into God’s sanctuary of grace allowing him to receive redemption.
We see His grace with the stoning of the adulterous woman in John 8:1-11. When a woman is brought before Jesus in front of a crowd of people to make judgement upon her for her actions, Jesus responds in a way no one had ever heard or seen before. Jesus then says to the people, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.” Then one by one everyone dropped their stones and walked away. When no one was left except Jesus and the woman, Jesus asked, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
These pictures of grace show me, God doesn’t condemn us but loves us despite our wrongdoing. Grace doesn’t mean he likes our sin or even agrees with it, but means He never turns his back on us or leaves us.
The definition of Intimacy doesn’t necessarily mean something physical. By definition intimacy means ‘close familiarity or friendship, closeness.’
There is an intimacy or closeness of grace that we would never receive if we weren’t near Him. In each of the above scenarios, each person received God’s grace when they were in His presence. When God’s love was poured out to them instead of condemnation.
There isn’t a clause that says, grace covers everyone except the evil and wicked, God’s grace is for everyone who willingly accepts it. God’s grace is one of those things we keep close by but rarely get close to because we’re afraid there’s something required of us. There must be something God wants from us in order to give this to us.
God wants US. He wants our HEARTS. He desires Us.
Imagine if you were the woman whose life was spared from being stoned. Imagine if you were given that much love and grace, how would you respond? I think God’s grace was the deal breaker that changed her life to not want to sin anymore. When God’s grace is staring at us directly in the face, it’s hard to deny the source of where it came from.
We receive the Intimacy of Grace when:
God pours joy into our pain
God’s love chases us down in the most unlikely places
It doesn’t matter how far lost or gone we are, He will find and embrace unconditionally
God covers our shame and there’s no where else to hide except in his light
Even in our poor choices we receive forgiveness and redemption
We receive his eternal gift of salvation
The most intimate, closest moments I’ve had with God were when I’ve been the most broken. When I’ve been down on my knees before him alone in prayer and he whispers to me, ‘my child I AM here.’
He loves us so much he sent his son to die for us so we could be with Him in heaven. The same way the cross brought pain to Jesus is the same cross that brings us freedom. The same grave that brought death to Jesus, is the same grave that brings victory to us.
The closer we get to God’s grace the clearer we see, there’s nothing we could do to make God not love us more or leave us. The closer we are the clearer we see his undying, unconditional, eternal love desires us more than anything. Have you received God’s wonderful gift of grace? You are loved my friend!
How close have you been to God’s grace?
Do you believe God’s grace is for you?
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Loved- God’s Grace Said-Song by Elevation “Come to the Altar” Learned- You don’t have to be good to be perfect Read- Everybody Always by Bob Goff