CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
Graced By The Nature Of God
By Jonathan Fashbaugh
When I hear the word grace, I hear the words of speaker at my old Bible camp saying that an easy way to remember what grace means is by the acronym G.R.A.C.E.:
Acronyms can be useful, but they're not always biblically-based. I'm not so sure anymore that this acronym really covers the fullness of God's grace. I think we should add on a D at the end to make it G.R.A.C.E.D., where the D stands for Delivered.
Too many Christians think about grace as something they will encounter some day when they die. They have accepted Jesus, therefore by grace, they will go to Heaven when they die or when Jesus comes back. The truth is, God showed grace from the very beginning. We're not waiting for some delayed grace. God's grace has already been delivered. He shows grace to us every day of our lives, and will continue to show us grace until the day we die.
Grace Before Jesus
The first example of grace in the Bible is Genesis 6:8:
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. Genesis 6:8, KJVSome translations use the word Favor instead of grace, but the root word is Chen which means "graciousness, that is, subjectively (kindness, favor) or objectively (beauty): - favor, grace (-ious), pleasant, precious, favored."
In Genesis chapter 6, God is looking at the world, looking at the people he created, and his heart is broken. His creation was all about evil, all the time, and the Bible says that the Lord regretted that he had ever made human beings...with one exception. God showed grace to Noah and his family. The Bible says that Noah was righteous, even blameless among the people of his time, and that he was faithful to God, but it doesn't explicitly say that that's why God saved Noah and his family. It just says that Noah found favor (grace) in the eyes of the Lord. I believe that God saved Noah because of his heart, not because of what Noah was (or wasn't) doing.
Grace With Jesus: TODAY'S Good News
Jesus wasn't on the Earth at this point. This is Jehovah God looking on Noah. Grace is just an extension of his character, which is all based on love. We know that God is the Alpha and Omega and that he doesn't change (Revelation 22:13, Malachi 3:6, James 1:17), but we are so blessed to be alive now that Jesus has entered the picture and paid for our sins.
...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24, NIVAccording to verse 24, we are all justified freely by his grace. Look carefully. It says justifiED. It's a done deal, folks! It doesn't say, 'Someday, when you die, if you've been good boys and girls, you may be justified.' It says that we ARE justified.
Romans 3:28 says that we are justified by faith apart from the works of the law. We can't do our way into righteousness. It's so easy for us to get wrapped up in trying to DO Christianity, but the fact is it is DONE. Jesus did it and he wants us to live in the fullness of what he paid for on the cross. Jesus said that he has come that we may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10).
Receiving The Fullness Of His Grace
If you've been going through life, frantically trying to do your best, perhaps it's time to stop and receive God's best instead.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalms 34:8, NIVPray with me right now and ask, "Lord, I want to taste the fullness of your goodness. Fill me with your grace. I'm done trying to do my way into your heart. I receive the free gift your love and grace." If you prayed that prayer, you may not feel different right now, but I would encourage you to mark this day in your heart's calendar as the day that you decided to walk with God in a personal relationship instead of following a set of religious rules and to-do lists. Remember, you are graceD by God!
Image Credit: Sharon; "Easter Corss ~ Alleluia ~ Praise the Lord"; Creative Commons
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Published on 6-7-12