Misunderstanding Grace

 

Today I’m thankful for grace. As I read the Scriptures it occurs to me that most of my life I have misunderstood grace. Yes I can give you the Sunday school definition of grace, I did go to Bible College. I know grace is God’s unmerited favor. Grace is a free gift that you don’t deserve. Grace is active in forgiveness and salvation. I know that. We all know that. So what have I missed?

Have you ever read the Scriptures and thought, “I must be missing something?” or, “We must be missing something?” Jesus, the Apostle Paul, and others have said some of the most radical things you can imagine. They talk about the radical love of God. They talk about living a life of radical sacrifice. They talk about the power of God moving mightily in and through the lives of His children. Yet we don’t often see this in the church today. I have heard sermons, and perhaps you have too, where pastors try to explain away why God is not moving in power like He did in the early church. What I don’t hear a lot about is how the grace of God is the key to unlocking the resurrection power of Christ through the Holy Spirit in our lives and churches even today.

It was said of the early church in Acts 19:20, “In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.” The Apostle Paul said in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God.” In Romans 15:13 Paul said he ministered to the Gentiles, “By the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God.” In 1 Corinthians 2:4 Paul said that his ministry was a demonstration of the Spirits power. In 1 Corinthians 4:20 Paul proclaimed that the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

If that doesn’t totally blow your mind Jesus walked on water, healed the sick, and raised the dead. Then He casually says in John 14:12, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

Today I’m thankful for grace. First of all in my personal life I have failed beyond measure. I have done things I never believed I would do. I have gone down roads I never believed I would have gone down. No one is in more need of God’s forgiveness than me. Forgiveness is one aspect of God’s grace.

The Bible also says in Philippians 2:14, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” It is the power of God in us through the indwelling Holy Spirit that gives us power to do God’s will. It is the free gift of God’s grace that empowers us to live the lives God desires for us to live.

Today I’m thankful for grace. I now see grace as much greater than just forgiveness. It is the power of God to live in righteousness and it doesn’t stop there. According to Scripture the abundant life God desires for us goes far beyond just avoiding sin. The abundant life God desires for us is a life of radical power. It is the power of God to build the kingdom of God, for the glory of God.

Today I’m thankful for grace. I’m thankful that by the work of Christ on the cross and His glorious resurrection, I am forgiven. I’m thankful that by the grace of God I can live day by day in His power over sin. I’m thankful that when I mess up I can repent, turn from sin, ask God’s forgiveness, get back up, and walk again in God’s grace. I’m thankful for grace that empowers me to go beyond just avoiding sin but live to push back the kingdom of darkness and build the kingdom of light in my marriage, with my family, and in my service. I’m thankful for the power to live free from addiction. I’m thankful for the power to love the unlovable and serve where the Lord has placed me. Today I’m thankful for Grace.

What are you thankful for? Leave a reply below.

Advertisements