Monday, January 3, 2011

By Grace

Ephesians 2: 4-9 NIV
"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. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast."

By grace..is the focal point for discussion in these verses.

What is grace? The dictionary lists several definitions of grace. The meanings which apply best to the scripture above are: favour, good will, mercy, temporary relief from an obligation, God's unmerited mercy toward man, and a condition of one who enjoys God's special favour.

When God offers his grace to us he is offering his mercy, his favour, his good will, etc. He is well aware of our sinful nature for nothing we do is hidden from him. Grace isn't his reward to us for our good behaviour or for our good works or for our attitude. It is his gift to us, his exemption from eternal separation from him by believing that Jesus died for our sins and rose again on the third day.

Grace is not earned it is freely given. Grace is not doled out to a select few, but is offered to all who believe in God's gift of Jesus. Grace is God's ultimate gift of love to us who are so unworthy and undeserving of his gift. Grace exemplifies God's love and is extended to us as a favour and mercy. Grace is a heart and head lesson which we need to learn so that we can offer God's grace to others.

Grace is undeserved forgiveness. A forgiveness which erases our sin. Since grace is an undeserved forgiveness it is essential for us to put grace into practice in our own lives and when we deal with others who have hurt us.

Is this offering of grace easy to do when we feel so wounded by someone? No, however by God's grace we can pray and ask him to help us extend his grace to this individual. Bit by bit, as we pray for our enemy God's grace pours out to us, and overflows unto our enemy. The intense emotions slowly begin to disappear as we focus more on God's grace and less on how hurt we have been.

If you do not believe me try it. Jesus commanded us to pray for our enemies. You will be amazed at the changes within yourself as you pray for the one who has hurt you. You will be offering grace.