Although I experienced God’s love when I accepted Christ at the age of 8, I did not fully experience His grace. This was because of my focus upon my schoolwork to get acceptance from my family members. I thought I had to earn God’s love. I was away from God during my teenage years. When I returned, this feeling that I had to earn God’s love continued in my twenties. It was only when God taught me of His grace through studying His Word and experiencing His grace and love firsthand through prayer. It was then that I was set free from the need to please others and God. I could praise God for His unmerited grace.
“We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are” (Acts 4:33, NIV).
WHAT’S IN A WORD?
Grace is “the unmerited love and favor of God toward human beings” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary). It is “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary). “There is stress on its freeness and universality, its spontaneous character, as in the case of God’s redemptive mercy, and the pleasure or joy He designs for the recipient” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).
God’s grace is indeed unmerited. God loves us unconditionally. This does not mean that He will not correct us when we sin. God loves us and desires close fellowship with us as we are forgiven by His unmerited grace and love.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24, NIV).
Read Romans 3:23-24. What have all people done?
What do we fall short of?
How are we justified?
Who did the redemption come by?
We have indeed fallen short of the glory of God. Thank the Lord for His grace. God redeems us by what Jesus did for us on the cross.
“And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace” (Romans 11:6, NIV).
Read Romans 11:6. What can it not be based on?
Why is this so?
Many times in our lives, we try to earn God’s favor by our works. I know I did for many years. I thought that if I were good enough then God would love and accept me. It took me a while to learn about God’s unmerited favor and grace. God loves us unconditionally.
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5, NIV).
Read Ephesians 2:4-5. What is God rich in?
What did He make us with Christ?
What did He do even when we were dead in?
How have we been saved?
God loves us so much. He desires for us to come to Him. God is rich in mercy and calls us to come to Him. We have been saved by grace.
YOUR HEART’S DESIRE
“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, NIV). God gives us hope through His grace and mercy. We can thank God for His eternal encouragement and good hope.
How did you view God’s grace as a young Christian?
How has this changed?
Name a time when you cried out to God for His grace.
What Scripture spoke to you during this time?
How did God answer your cries for help and grace?
God’s grace is infinite and unconditional. God will encourage and strengthen us when we come to Him. God will indeed answer our pleas for His help and grace.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace. Fill me with understanding by Your Word about Your infinite grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
NUGGETS OF WISDOM
Nothing whatever pertaining to godliness and real holiness can be accomplished without grace. Augustine of Hippo
I take the love of God and self-denial to be the sum of all saving grace and religion. Richard Baxter
What God promises, we ourselves do not through choice or nature, but he himself does by grace. Augustine of Hippo
God doesn’t just give us grace, He gives us Jesus, the Lord of grace. Joni Eareckson Tada
No one is safe by his own strength, but he is safe by the grace and mercy of God. Cyprian