THIS WEEK – GRACE

Grace – The free and unmerited favor of God as manifested in the Salvation of sinners and bestowing of blessing. The divine regenerating, inspiriting, and strengthening influence of God. 

(Oxford Dictionary)



Grace has many meanings and nuances, but the one that really counts is this one. Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God. We all need that ticket punched. The late Adrian Rogers, a Southern Baptist pastor of some stature, said, “Grace is God’s acceptance of us. Faith is our acceptance of God accepting us.” That is true, but I see grace as far more. The grace God gives us is in his control, not ours to claim under some preset rule.

John Wesley speaks of the prevenient grace of God that is bestowed on all of us. Such grace is not a grace that has to be accepted but grace that is poured out by God on all his creation. Some people limit this grace to small children or people of limited understanding. I am convinced that it goes much further than that. God’s grace is upon us in our time of strife and rebellion. It is ridiculously hard to reject the loving grace of a loving God. How does that grace work?

It protects us in our frailties and weaknesses. We all have areas of our lives that are targeted by the adversary or the evil presence in the world. God’s grace is with us when we need the strength to resist what are our less than pure natural tendencies. It is like God being our guide in a foreign land. He is with us to make sure we do not lose our way. We all need grace when our strength fails us. The gracious hand of God taps us on the shoulder and assures us we are not alone. What can seem hopeless is suddenly achievable because of his presence.

Grace surrounds us when we feel abandoned. Into every life there are times of desperation and despair. These are times that we feel very much alone. We do not feel attacked but just abandoned. Our lives are not surrounded by temptations but just a void of emptiness. Into that void can walk the grace of God that lets us know we are never alone. God does not abandon his creation.

His loving grace is patient when we rebel. Not even one of God’s creation can honestly say that we have not said no to God at least once. When we stray of our own free will, God’s grace is still with us. God does not sit waiting for us to say yes or no. He is always there. His grace is like a person yelling to the top of their lungs to get our attention in a noisy place. They will not give up until we see them.

So it is with God when we stray. He keeps on calling and offering until we hear Him.



Quotes BannerReligion in its humility restores man to his only dignity, the courage to live by grace.

~~~George Santayana

It has been great journey from where I have started to where I am today. I am really blessed with God’s grace.

~~~Dhanush

Grace is the beauty of form under the influence of freedom.

~~~Friedrich von Schiller

God appoints our graces to be nurses to other men’s weaknesses.

~~~Henry Ward Beecher

For his heart was in his work, and the heart giveth grace unto every art.

~~~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

An error gracefully acknowledged is a victory won.

~~~Caroline L. Gascoigne

The only man who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ.

~~~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.

~~~Anne Lamott

Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected.

~~~Jonathan Edwards

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.

~~~Dietrich Bonhoeffer



Scripture BannerBut to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

~~~ Ephesians 4:7

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

~~~John 1:14

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

~~~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

~~~ John 1:16

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

my whole life long.

~~~ Psalm 23:6

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,

whose trust is the Lord.

~~~Jeremiah 17:7

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

~~~Acts 20:24

But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

~~~James 4:6

But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it.

~~~James 1:14

But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

~~~Ephesians 4:7

Prayer BannerLORD, Without your grace we are hopelessly lost. Our lives are a shattered mess of missed intentions and goals. It is with your divine grace that we come together to be the creation that you intended. Today we ask you to bestow the grace necessary for the day.

Amen

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