Grace That Makes You Say Wow
What do you think of when you hear the word grace? In the Christian community we are surrounded by this word. We are constantly surrounded by this word, but do we truly understand the magnitude of grace… Grace is an incredibly critical and important doctrine to our Christian faith.
Today we are going to look at grace. We are going to look at the notion of God’s love coming to us free of charge no strings attached, absolutely unconditional. In order, to get a good understanding of it we are going to look at some scenes in Jesus’ life. Interestingly enough, Jesus never once used the word grace. Rather, he taught it and he lived it. In looking at some instances of Jesus displaying this grace it is my hopes that we: Come to an understanding of God’s grace and then live it!
The first step in understanding God’s grace is realizing it is:Not something we can EARN This is a foreign idea because we live in a society that is based on earnings and rewards. For example, we work tirelessly for a week or two, then anxiously await our hard earned paycheck.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I have never heard of anyone going up to their boss after they receive their paychecks and saying, thank you oh thank you for this undeserved gift.
How can I possibly thank you enough. No, this is not how it works. You earned that paycheck. We are engrained with the idea: the more and harder we work the more we will receive in return. This idea is very present in the business world. For example, this idea is present in the auto industry. Ford employees are graded on a scale of 1 to 27.
1 would be given to clerks and secretaries whereas 27 is chairman of the board.
You must reach grade 9 to receive an outside parking place.
Grade 13 brings with it such perks as a window, plants and an intercom system.
Grade 16 offices come equipped with private bathrooms. Military practices this idea as well.
Assigned a title, uniform, salary and code of behavior, every soldier knows exactly where he or she stands in relation to the other. You salute and obey superiors; you give orders to the inferiors. Sports franchises rewards those who complete passes, throw strikes, or make baskets, and has no place for those who fail. We are constantly engrained with this idea that the harder we work the more we receive. This however is the exact opposite of grace and opposite to the way Jesus presented it as he was here on earth. Let’s look at Matthew 20:12-
God’s love for me is not determined on how full my good bucket is compared to my bad bucket. Rather, God’s love no matter what I do overflows the good bucket. Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more and there is nothing we can do to make God love us less. Grace means that God already loves us as much as an infinite God can possibly love. It is absolutely not determined on what we do, it is not earned. The second thing we must understand about grace is that:It Allows Second Chances Modern day terms -
That’s how life is. But that is not how grace is. According to Luke 15 grace allows second chances, that is what God does for us. When we stumble, when we struggle, when we are disobedient, and unfaithful. God is always there to welcome us back with open arms. A great example of this is the life of the Apostle Paul. He was a devout Jew. -
The third thing we need to understand about grace is that it is our:This means we have salvation. Ephesians 2:8-
Our only way to salvation is by grace. And this grace was offered at the Cross. I’m talking about Jesus’ death. It is only by the grace of God, that he would choose each us who are sinners, completely separate from him. We who can do no good in compared to his greatness. What an amazing grace! So, what do we do with all of this understanding of grace? We have looked at it being something that:
We cannot earn, we seen that it allows second chances, and that it is the means to salvation. knowing grace is one thing, living it is another.
We have been given this grace by God; therefore, it is our privilege as well as obligation as Christians to show this grace to others. Let’s turn to Matthew 18:23-
Unfortunately, this is a pretty accurate portrayal of many churches When the world thinks of the church, they do not often see grace. In fact, I’ve heard a story about a prostitute who was down and out in Chicago.
She was asked if she had ever thought about going to church.
Shockingly, she replied, "church! Why would I ever go there?
I was already feeling terrible about myself. That would just make me feel worse."
I have had to opportunity to talk to some of my friends about church and spiritual things and it seems their perception of the church is very legalistic or cold-
How come we are not perceived as giving off grace? Where are we missing the mark? When your friends or your relatives see you, do they see grace? Do they see you extending favor or kindness to others or to themselves? To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.
In My Conclusion
Grace is the best gift Christians can give the world because it is the best gift we have ever received. From an early age we are taught to survive in a world that does not know grace. We are taught mottos such as: the early bird gets the worm, no pain no gain, there is no such thing as a free lunch, demand your rights, get what you pay for. None of these reflect grace. I love the song "Amazing Grace". It states: Amazing Grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost but now I am found -
The world thirsts for grace. When grace descends, the world falls silent before it. Let’s leave here today and give the world some grace.