May 23, 2008

God's Gift of Grace

What does grace mean to you and me? I guess to know and understand the full effects of grace is to know the Master. It is to know what He did for us and what He continues to do. How can God love mankind so much that He sent His only Son to suffer and die?

Grace is free but it is the giver of grace who paid the price. Here is a question I’d like to explore found in Romans 3:27,28, “Can we boast then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on our good deeds. It is based on our faith. So we are made right with God through faith…”
“There is only one God and there is only one way of being accepted by Him. He makes people right with Himself only by faith...” Verse 30.

What is faith? It is believing even though we cannot see.
Grace is free because of God’s goodness and mercy. Sin is pardonable because of God’s grace! Salvation is God’s gift of grace.
We cannot boast about our Salvation. If we walked about boasting that God saved us because of our own deeds or acts of service, then what part does Jesus have in all of it? Why would Jesus choose to suffer and die if it doesn’t count for anything? Ephesians 2: 8-10 says: “God saved you by His special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is the gift of God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the things He planned for us long ago. “

1Corinthians 1:30b says: “He made us pure and holy, and He gave Himself to purchase our freedom.”

Do you know that because of God’s grace He doesn’t give up on us?

You see, we are worthy of far more than we think we are ourselves. You often hear about people running from God and make so many alternate plans and changes in their lives just to be preoccupied. They run from God, they play the game, and run from church and friends. In fact it may even be uttered that they do not even love God anymore. I guess we could say that people fall from grace. But in the stillness of the anguish, God whispers, “I know you don’t love me anymore but I still love you.” That’s when grace is experienced and realized!

Do you know that because of God’s grace, He understands our weaknesses?

As I was reflecting on Jonah’s story of running from God, I had to wonder if God was amused by it. Some roam the earth and some roam the sea to flee from God’s call. It must make God laugh as He leans back watching people trying to get away from Him. After all, how far can we go to escape His clutch of love? He knows that each of us would run out of steam sooner or later. God must understand that we, his people, are weak. He must know that we do not fully understand His power at work within us. Until, that is, we yield to Him.

Romans 8:28 says: “In the same way, the Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. “ That’s the difference in walking in the Grace of God and walking without Him. The Holy Spirit helps us and enables us to carry on through the many trials we face in life. Now, I’m not sure if He helps us run away from Him or not, but I know we have a free will.

Do you know that because of God’s Grace we do not have to be on the run from Him?

Psalm 139:7-10 says, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my beds in the depths you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
I think there are a lot of people who could relate to that Scripture. Not during the run, I’m afraid. But once obedience and surrender takes place, peace and grace follows, Amen?

Do you know that because of God’s Grace we don’t have to be afraid.

Do you believe that fear has a grip on people? Fear gripped the disciples when they were on the troubled sea, until Jesus calmed the storm.
We’ve learned that fear causes people to run from God. Jonah ran as far as he could; Peter, who betrayed Jesus, just ran around the corner and wept. Go figure!
Some have been thought brave because they were afraid to run away. The key to change is to let go of fear.
2Timothy1:7, says: “For God has not given us spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”

So, whether it’s fear of following God‘s will or fear of the storms of life, grace intervenes when we let go of fear.
Here is a profound quote: Fear can keep us up all night but faith makes one fine pillow.

May each of us sleep well tonight!

Copyright Jan Keats

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