“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” the famous line from Dicken’s Tale of Two Cities may describe a recent timeline in your life, be it a year, a decade or just a short while. There are times in our lives when we are challenged to a larger degree than others: a time when our faith is tested. It is those times that, ultimately, and by the grace of God, can promote the most growth in us, be it in our faith, our wisdom or depth of understanding. You may be thinking ” I don’t deserve God’s grace and blessings in my life.
To experience the grace of God, we invite you to watch the GREAT NEWS FOR YOU Video on this page.
Today we will be discussing the following:
- I Don’t Deserve God’s Grace and Blessings
- What Is This Grace – The Grace of God?
- Grace Brings Joy
- Justice, Mercy and Grace
- Giving Grace to Others
- Be a Blessing to Others
- Living in Grace
- Challenges of a New Start a New Year
- Grace is Available to You
- Is There Grace for Me?
What Is This Grace – The Grace of God?
What is this grace of God? It is the free gift from God – it cannot be earned –the gift where we receive mercy rather than what we deserve. Free gift may sound redundant, but I use it to emphasize the purity of the priceless gift that only God can extend.
Sin in our life keeps us from God. But God has the answer – extending divine favor to repentant mankind, inviting us to come as we are and give him our sin burden. You may be thinking ” I don’t deserve God’s grace and blessings in my life.
Let us be brave, then, and come forward to God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.
Grace Brings Joy
Grace brings outrageous joy. Can it be? Oh, can it be? That God loves sinful, sinful me? Only God! So much that he sent His Son to pay for your sins and mine. What a Savior is ours! Read more about finding joy in your life here!
The transaction: I give him my barrel of sins; he takes my sins that he has purchased, and they are gone – as far as the east is from the west. He says your sins are forgiven: my soul cries out thanking him for his mercy, and I believe. The divine transaction is done. My eternity is sealed. The joy is absolute. “Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief.” Mark 9:23-25.
Or as the song emotes,
Jesus left Heaven to die in my place – What mercy, what love and what grace.B.B.Bixler
I cannot, you cannot, we cannot, handle our sin problem. No amount of good works removes the payment due for the sin in our lives. But we are not required to do so – Jesus offers this gift of forgiveness through grace and because of his mercy. Claim it. Believe it. Build your life on it. Know the joy and opportunity of living a grace filled life, a life where God indwells you because you are his and you are forgiven. You may be thinking ” I don’t deserve God’s grace and blessings in my life.
Justice, Mercy and Grace
Some simple definitions may help us clarify this discussion:
- Justice – when we get what we deserve
- Mercy – when we don’t get what we deserve
- Grace – when we get what we don’t deserve.
Grace is the free, undeserved goodness and favor of God to mankind.Matthew Henry
Giving Grace to Others
Forgiven and free from the burden of sin, we can love and forgive others. We can build a family; we can become productive; we can be kind and loving; because these are the fruits of the Spirit of God that lives within us when we believe. You may be thinking ” I don’t deserve God’s grace and blessings in my life.
Perhaps you have been the recipient of practical grace when the person in front of you in line paid for your order. You know the joy that the act provided you – much more than the actual amount of the bill. And the giver received an even more joyful feeling of spreading a bit of grace and acceptance to brighten your day.
How many times has your family or perhaps a friend overlooked and forgiven you for an act or ugly response without demanding your groveling? Or someone at work covered your mistake without calling anyone’s attention to it in an act of brotherhood? We can show grace to others every day and the world spins more evenly for us all.
Be a Blessing to Others
Shortly before Christmas 2020, Dave Ramsey, financial advisor and author who is a follower of Christ and who teaches the value of being debt free, made a surprise demonstration of grace. He led his company to be a blessing to others by buying medical and car debt totaling $10 million from two private debt collection companies and completely forgave it. He then allowed each of his several hundred employees to make the call to inform the debtors that their debt was paid in full. His reason: “We are blessed for one reason, and that is so we can be a blessing to others.”
Dave went on to explain it:
Well, the answer as to why is simple – to show the love of Jesus Christ. You see, this whole completely forgiving a debt thing has been done before –by him. No other gift could compare to that one, but we felt this was one small way we could continue to pass on that love.Dave Ramsey
How would you feel had you been one of those debtors – to discover you owed no one. Profound act of grace.
To experience the grace of God, we invite you to watch the GREAT NEWS FOR YOU Video on this page.
Living in Grace
When we believe that He is who he says He is, and we repent, turn, change our direction to agree with his teachings, we find peace and strength and fellowship in knowing Him in the good times and the bad. He promises that He “will never leave us.” Matthew 28:20.
It is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this faith is a gift of God.Ephesians 2:8-9
Living in grace means depending on God’s leadership. We learn not to listen to the old inner voice that says we are no good, that we cannot flourish because of – fill in the blank – whatever. We step out on faith because He promises that we can do all things in His strength. We have a Lord we can trust.
That is a promise King David experienced and expressed in the Old Testament:
When I called, you answered me, you made me bold and stouthearted.Psalm 138:3.
Oh, I want to be bold and stouthearted, while yet being kind and loving.
He empowers us to live a life that is useful, that is meaningful, that is encouraging to others along the way. And to know that things may never be perfect, but when we live in grace, trusting God for our strength, we can “bloom where we are planted.” And we find peace and happiness.
Challenges of a New Start a New Year
Actually, we can start anew each day. Confessing sin and clearing the pipeline between me and God. Ridding our thoughts of unforgiven anger, clearing the way to hear the voice of God. Acknowledging our own weakness while inviting our God to take control.
Discern truth in this troubled world. Choose to be involved in making right the things in which we can be a part. Letting go of daily being upset by things we cannot change this day. Let me use my energy in ways that can make a difference in the life of someone who is struggling, who is depressed, who needs a friend.
Be Strong. Pray. Be gentle and kind. What you really know about someone is minuscule – do not judge – reach out to listen. How much the world would change if everyone would learn to be kind. I want to be understood. I want others to remember the good things I do today and gracefully let things less lovely blow away – and not remind me of them. May I do so for them in return.
Grace is Available to You
You think this sounds like pie in the sky? Like a little girl’s pipe dream? Not really, but for sure it is nothing this world gives us.
This is the great Gift to which I was referring. This is for what I myself strove to find and grab hold for many years. And then I was introduced to Grace, the gift of God, and found the only way that my heart could be joyous, or that I could be forgiving, and that I could truly be interested in what is best for someone else. It was the only way that I could manage the obstacles life threw in my path.
And still in my humanity, I find myself struggling at times because I fail to appropriate that grace daily. But I know the Source of that grace and I bow my heart in confession and restoration. And the God of grace calls me His own.
Grace is available. Let us avail ourselves to the power of it daily in our lives. May I, from a heart of gratitude and love for my Lord, point you to the source of all grace and mercy so that you may receive these blessings and have the power of God in your life each day.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who has promised is faithfulHebrews10:23
Is There Grace for Me?
Today the world looks dark. We ponder, is there a future here or in the hereafter for me and my family? We struggle because we want to be joyful and full of hope. Can it be that God’s grace includes me? Am I not alone? Does God really care?
Oh yes, open your eyes and look at the beauty of the world, at the wonder in children’s faces, at the look in lovers’ eyes. Listen to the music in the air, to the lilting laughter of children playing, at the sound of lovers whispering. Hold your baby close, hold your family close. There is beauty and light and joy. Let not the dark clouds obscure your life. Hold close to the Lord God, who will see you through the sad days of this life but overwhelm you in the good days. And that is only a glimpse of the Glory we will know in heaven.
Yes, God extends His grace to you, to me. Only a God who is love can forgive us and gift us and seal to own us throughout eternity. And that is a very long time! Consider receiving this gift with a humble heart.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God
Ephesians 2:8 NIV.