Lately, the topic of “grace” has been on my heart. It’s such a powerful word, and yet most of us don’t even have any idea about what it means. We read it in the Bible all the time (“Grace and peace to you…”) and use it even in our everyday lives (“Just give me a little grace this time…”). It’s almost like we’ve gotten so familiar with it that we forgot what it means, like when you repeat a word over and over and over again so that it eventually loses all meaning.
Grace. It changes everything.
Just take a look at what grace does according to Ephesians 2:4-9. It reads, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
Simply put, grace is favor, the favor of God. When God looks favorably on your life, that changes everything.
Grace saves us, grace changes us and perfects us, grace pulls us into heaven, grace welcomes us into the family of God, grace makes us children of God, grace fills us with power…
Here’s my definition for grace: grace is God’s favor towards human beings, a favor that results in his power working within mankind to enable them to do the impossible.
God gives grace.
He gives grace to the humble (James 4:6) who submit themselves to God and who ask him for grace. He gives grace to the afflicted (Proverbs 3:34), the one who is tormented, haunted, in bondage, addicted, bothered, weak, trapped because he’s at the bottom of his rope, and he knows he needs power beyond himself.
God gives grace in abundance. He’s not stingy in the least but gives grace richly. The problem is we don’t often ask and we don’t often receive what he gives.
2 Corinthians 9:8 reads, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.” In context, this is talking about money, but grace is for more than just financial provision.
John 1:16-17 reads, “For of His [Jesus’] fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”
If I don’t have enough grace in my life right now, it’s certainly not because the Father isn’t ready to pour it out to me in abundance, grace upon grace. The problem has to be on my end. Either I’m not humble, I haven’t asked, or I have not chosen to receive it. He gives it, but I have to take it.
Grace is an amazing thing.
I’m in awe of how God would not only forgive us (show us mercy), but he also enables us to live differently (shows us grace).
But what really amazes me is how God gives us the ability to give grace as well.
Ephesians 4:29 reads, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
We usually think about that verse in the negative, as in “Don’t use your words to tear someone down or cause someone to stumble!” But look at the amazing promise of the verse: your words can release grace to someone who hears them.
My words can release into someone else’s life the supernatural ability of God to accomplish the will of God, to do the impossible.
Here’s what I mean. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine was really struggling spiritually. He’s a Christian, but he was just getting hammered by depression, frustration, temptation, etc. Another friend, Stefan, approached him one night with a message: “I’ve been praying for you. I saw you surrounded by black creatures, and they were trying to kill you. God told me you’re in the middle of a battle right now, and the devil is trying to take you out. He says you need to fight and quit letting the enemy win.” That prophetic word released grace into my friend’s heart and enabled him to fight against the enemy and win. The depression left; joy has come in its place.
A timely prophetic word released the grace of God into my friend’s life, and he was enabled to live out what was impossible for him to do on his own. God’s grace was released into his life.
I have been thinking about two things in particular in the area of grace: (1) I need to receive more, and (2) I need to give more.
Lord, thank you for grace. I need your grace in my life. I have not yet reached the end of my race, and I need you to empower me so I can run the rest of the course with endurance. And, Father, I give you my mouth to be used as a tool to release grace to those around me.