As Christians, have taken grace for granted?
Grace is mentioned in the Bible 170 times. How can we not take it seriously?
Do we not recognize the gift and power of grace?
We are sinners! We have made a mess of our lives. Without God our lives will continue to be full of strife, confusion, and pain. We cannot find peace and make our lives right on our own. Only God can do this.
God answers the mess of our lives with one word-Grace. He changes us from the inside out. He removes our heart of stone and replaces it with one that’s God- willed, not self-willed. As Christians we are people to whom something has happened. We cannot take this for granted.
"Should anyone knock on my heart and say, “Who lives here?” I should reply not Martin Luther, but the Lord Jesus Christ"
We talk as if we understand grace but, Do we?
Grace comes after us, it rewires us. It has a drenching about it. Grace is the voice that calls us to change, then gives us the power to do so. Grace replaces the record of guilt with a new melody.
Grace isn’t just a noun. Yes, God gives us grace but then he uses that grace to change us. We become more like him able to bestow grace on others. Christ slowly moves in and changes us.
“If God didn’t act first the world would be full of nothing but sinners”
R. C Sproul
Sometimes we must suffer before we get grace. When our hearts are stone or we are stubborn and unyielding, God takes-action.
He may use suffering to help us before he exercises His grace.
Saul whose name was changed to Paul is an example of this. Saul was blessed, taught by the best teachers in the Jewish community, given great intelligence and given the ability to absorb God’s laws into his very being. But he was stubborn, and his heart was hard. As a Pharisee, he had developed his own interpretation of the scriptures, a know-it-all attitude that allowed incorrect doctrine to separate him from God’s grace. Knowledge of God kept him from knowing God. That is why Jesus arrived with grace to reveal Saul’s errors to him and humble him.
The prodigal son was the same. His life was blessed with a good family, but he thought he knew best. He ended up living with pigs after squandering his inheritance. It took suffering to wake him up to grace.
Grace loved the hate out of Saul and hugged the stink off the Prodigal son.
God’s Grace has a wildness about it. A white-water, riptide, turn-you-upside-downnes about it.
God replaces our heart with a heart like Jesus. When our hearts are changed, He looks at us and He sees the heart of His son, not the heart of a sinner.
Give your heart to Christ-He returns the favor!