We Must Embrace Grace

Grace.

I have been thinking a lot about grace lately.  Trying to wrap my mind … my heart … and my spirit around grace.

On one level it is such a religious word.

On another level it is an embrace of the very best and warmest kind.

I am intent on taking the religion out of “grace” and wrapping it around me like a quilt stitched with love.

Grace.

This is what I do know … God’s grace is the very best gift that I have ever received.

I need grace.  I am in desperate want of that which is offered to me so lavishly … so generously … so graciously.

Whatever blessing is yours today … you have it because of grace.

If you are reading this blog today … you are reading it because of grace.

If you sing on the worship team … you didn’t get there by yourself.  Grace got you there.

If you have ever been on a missions trip … you didn’t get there by yourself … grace got you there.

If you read your Bible this morning … you didn’t do it or choose it by yourself.  Grace did it for you.

If you want to know what grace is … read John 15:16.

“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”

If you want to know what grace is … memorize John 15:16.

Grace is what God gives to people … flawed, broken and sinful people.

Grace is God’s heart toward His dear children that results in the giving of all that He is and all that He has.

“The surpassing riches of His grace.”

“The riches of His grace which He lavished on us.”

“To the praise of the glory of His grace.”

Phrases so beautiful that my heart literally aches with joy.

Grace is for me.  I don’t deserve it.  I did nothing to earn it. And yet He gives it.

Imagine that!

You are valuable to God.  Your minutes matter to Him.  They matter very, very much.

God has been thinking about you since before the foundations of the world.  He was planning for all of history past to roll out the red carpet for your life and for all that you would become.

But there was a problem.  A big problem.  A gargantuan problem.

There was a gap.  An insurmountable, uncrossable gap.

Sin separated you from God … but God wanted you back.

You are the crowning achievement of all that He had created … but sin and darkness had stolen you.

The cost was so great but God the Father was willing to pay it.

Did you know that the cost of an item is set by what someone is willing to pay for that item?

The Father was willing to pay anything … anything at all … to cross that uncrossable gap and to hold you in His arms once again.

God valued your life to such an extent that He knew that silver and gold were not enough to buy you back.

And so God … the Creator of the universe … the all-powerful, omniscient Being … set the price for your life.

He bought you back with blood.  He paid the debt in rich, dark red blood.

The blood didn’t come from an animal donor.

The blood that was used as collateral didn’t come from a dove … or from a sheep … or from a ram.

The blood that God the Father used in the greatest transaction of all eternity came from a Lamb.  The only Lamb.  The sacrifice Lamb.

God’s Son.  The Lamb.

That’s grace.

Not only did grace buy you back … but grace changed your past!

Are you ready for some great theology?!  For some humbling truth? 

Now hang in there … don’t stop reading.  You need to know this stuff!  This is unbelievable power!

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a complete sacrifice in His blood through faith.  This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed.” – Romans 3:23 – 25

WHAT?!!

Grace has passed over the sins that I have committed.

Just as if I had never sinned.  My past is gone.  Completely gone because of Jesus.

My sins are erased … they are eternally gone.  There is no more shame.  No more paralysis.  No more guilt.

There is only grace.  Blood and grace.

I am undone!

“My sin – Oh the bliss! – of this glorious thought!

My sin, not the part, but the whole:

Was nailed to the cross and I bear it no more,

It is well!  It is well with my soul!”

And the wonder of it all … almost too beautiful to speak … grace now treats us like we already are what we fear we would never become.

But there is a challenge to grace.  A gut-wrenching, knee-shaking, head-dropping, dry-mouth challenge to grace …

Because I have received grace … I must give grace.

Because I have been the beneficiary … I must benefit others.

Because of Jesus … I must be Jesus to others.

I must cross that chasm of frustration, impatience, bitterness and anger … and move toward sinful and difficult people with grace.

I must.  There are no excuses.

Grace has removed all excuses.

If I have been given it … I must offer it.

I must freely … lavishly … generously … completely … give grace.

I must treat others like they already are what I thought that they could never become.

And grace will enable me to do so.

The power of grace changes my past … my present … and my future.

The work of grace in me reaches out to you.

Grace.  Too beautiful for words.