A Few Thoughts on Grace
I’m not sure it’s possible to limit a post to just “a few thoughts on grace” — not when it’s God’s grace we’re talking about. God’ grace is so rich in it’s depth, and is truly “amazing” in its availability and sufficiency. In 2 Peter, vs 16-17, the apostle Peter warned the Christians to whom he was writing that they should be aware of those who were twisting the Scriptures and not be carried away by their errors and lose their stability. Instead, in vs 18, he encourages them to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
But, we can’t “grow” in God’s grace until we have first personally experienced the magnitude of his grace demonstrated for sinful man when Christ died on the cross for our sins to make possible our salvation from the penalty of our sin. Ephesians 2:8 states plainly that we have been saved by grace — God’s unmerited favor toward us through faith — and none of this is because of anything we have done or can do. The verse goes on to say “… and this is not your own doing (not of any works we can do), but it is the gift of God to us. I accepted God’s gift of grace and salvation as a young child, but it was a more recent date when God unmistakably showed me how little I appreciated his grace. To be honest, I didn’t see myself as a “really bad” sinner. Oh, I realized I was a sinner enough to need a Savior, but I was sure it didn’t require as much of God’s grace to save me, as say the apostle Paul who had Christians imprisoned and some killed. Or maybe even serial killer, Ted Bundy, who came to accept Christ on death row in prison. These guys were really bad dudes…and I was sure it took up a lot more of God’s grace for forgiveness of their sin than I did for me as a child of seven…or for that matter, as an older Christian who still committed some “little” sins — or so I thought.
God in his love … and grace.. gave me a rude awakening of my need for God’s grace equally as much as the worse of sinners (that’s a story for another time). He wanted me to see the evil in my heart as he saw it and learn to appreciate his grace. In our eagerness to get to verse 8 in Ephesians 2, we tend to rush through vs 7 and miss the richness of that verse. “so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace toward us in Christ Jesus.” Some day… God’s going to put me on display….and proudly proclaim: “Look at the immeasurable riches of my grace I poured out on Ann. Anything she became or achieved was because of my grace poured into her life.” Reminds me of verses 7 & 8 in chapter 1 of Ephesians where Paul again was talking about the riches of God’s grace and how He had “lavished” his grace upon us. Don’t you just love that word “lavished!” It’s rich in meaning. Webster defines lavish this way: “expended or produced in abundance; marked by profusion or excess.” What a beautiful description of the heart of God toward us….he just “heaps” up his grace on us!
Not only are we to “grow” in our understanding and appreciation of God’s rich, abundant grace toward us, even though we are totaling undeserving, but he also wants us to grow in the way we extend that same grace to others.
But that’s a blog for another day. Stay tuned……