February 10, 2012

This Beautiful Thing Called Grace - Part 1

Grace....I have always loved the word and all the pictures that it brings to my mind. I have wanted to do a word study on it for awhile, and I have finally been able to, and let me tell you, grace is far more beautiful than most us know! How about if we start at the beginning...

The definition of the word grace is unmerited favor or kindness. That alone is enough to make me love this word! But, when we place grace in a Biblical context, it becomes so much more. I love Deuteronomy 7:7-8. Although this is an Old Testament verse, it is a beautiful description straight from the mouth of God of His grace.
The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people: for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Even though this verse is directed to Israel, it speaks volumes to me. We all know Israel's history. God certainly did not deliver them because of anything they had done! I am so glad God included the phrase "because the Lord loved you." He did not deliver Israel just so that He could say He kept His promise. He delivered Israel because of His love for them! So, it is with me...I have done nothing worthy enough to receive God's grace and favor. It is only because God loves me that He gave grace to me and delivered me from my sin.

Romans 5:23 says that "all have sinned." All of us are sinners. There is not one person who can say they have never done anything wrong. The smallest lie, the seemingly insignificant thoughts, the harsh words...all of these are sin, and we all, have been guilty of these and more. As a matter of fact, we are so bogged down in our sin, that the Bible says we could not even come to Jesus for salvation from our sin if it weren't for God Himself drawing us to Himself (John 6:44-45). Isn't that an amazing thought? A perfect and holy God drawing, pulling, an ugly sinner like me to Him! That, my friend, is grace - beautiful, wonderful grace.

You, see, God's grace is so much bigger than any and all of our sins (Romans 5:19-21)! God's grace can cover them...and will cover them all if we but accept it! Our salvation is all and only through God's grace.
For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. ~Ephesians 2:8
What a beautiful gift this salvation is! What a beautiful gift God's grace is! There is nothing I can do, or you can do, to obtain salvation. It is a gift offered to us because, for some crazy, unknown reason, God LOVES us, and He wants us!

But, friends, God's drawing us and pulling us to Him...His offering us this free gift of salvation...this is only the very beginning of this beautiful thing called grace....

A few of God's graces to me:

11. Quiet mornings
12. WHITE bathroom sinks :)
13. A Mr. who can fix anything
14. Beautiful music
15. The imagination my kids have
16. Good books to read
17. Telephone conversations with my family who are thousands of miles away
18. A cold glass of Mt. Dew (just for every now and then) :)
19. The baby swing that keeps the newbie quiet
20. My church family

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