February 11, 2012

This Beautiful Thing Called Grace - Part 2

I love to think of grace as a river. Even before we see it, we can hear it. God's grace, pulling us, drawing us to Him (John 6:44-45). Once we reach the river of grace, we have to choose whether or not to step into it. After taking that first step into grace - accepting His gift of salvation - we have only just begun the journey.

In II Peter 3:18, Peter tells the Christians to "grow in grace." That implies that there is much more to grace than just an offering of salvation. Titus 2:11 tells us that grace teaches us.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.
If God only gave us His grace through salvation and did not continue to offer us His grace, we would still be living in our selfishness and sinfulness. We are what we are only because of God's grace.
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. ~I Corinthians 15:10
I am so thankful that once I step into that river of grace, it continues to pull and draw, teach and grow, so that I can become more and more like Christ. I am so thankful God did not leave me to try to do it all on my own because, the truth is, I would never be able to. The Bible clearly teaches that without Him we can do nothing (John 15:4-5). It is only through God's amazing grace and work in my life that I can ever do anything that would please Him (Philippians 2:13).

When I allow God's grace to work in me, my life becomes an amazing experience! A life full of watching God work and seeing how He uses so many different things to change me and grow me and pull me to Him despite all my failures. He has promised that He, this wonderful God of grace, will make me perfect in His time.
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. ~II Peter 5:10
This grace is such an amazing thing to think on. It's unfathomable to think that my God who is so completely holy and perfect wants to accomplish such a work in me. A work that I can never do without His grace. As Ann Voskamp so perfectly says it, "All is grace." Without the grace of God, I am nothing...can be nothing. There is nothing good in me that deserves this grace. Why would this holy God give this grace so freely? Because He loves simple as that...because my holy God loves a sinner like me.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. ~Ephesians 2:4-7
And the best part is that He WANTS to give me this grace. He WANTS to shew me His kindness. He wants to give me a beautiful life full of abundant joy. It brings Him pleasure to pour out His grace so freely upon my life. Think on that amazing thought as you worship Him, this amazing God of grace, this weekend! And next week, we'll ask ourselves what we should do with all of this grace He so freely gives.

A link to This Beautiful Thing Called Grace - Part 1

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