Sunday, August 12, 2012

Where Is Grace?

"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:6-7, NIV)

A dear friend once advised me never to pray for patience or the Lord would surely allow mine to be tested.  I wonder why she never advised me not to pray for grace?
  • Where is grace when the words spoken to you wound so deeply that you want to strike back like a great white shark on a feeding frenzy?
  • Where is grace when the one who could be a part of the solution to a problem is full of platitudes and empty gestures?
  • Where is the grace when you feel so sorry for yourself that you can seemingly justify every complaint that your mouth utters because you didn't ask for your problems in the first place?
 I think in order to understand where grace is, we have to first understand what grace is.  Grace has been defined by a catchy little acronym, "God's Riches at Christ's Expense," or by the common phrase, "God's unmerited favor."  According to Strong's Concordance, the word for grace is charis, which means favor.  The Greek word used for riches, transliterated ploutos, means "riches, wealth, abundance, materially or spiritually."  It stands to reason, then, that the riches of God's grace can be defined as the abundance of God's favor, even when it is undeserved.

The "expense" Christ paid so that we could experience God's grace, or unmerited favor, was his own death on the cross for our sins.  You see, none of us is good (Romans 3:12, Psalm 53:1).  There is nothing we can do to earn our salvation; we must receive it by faith.  The same is true of God's grace.  We can't earn it, and we cannot in our human power walk in the fullness of it.  We must rely on the Holy Spirit who indwelt us at salvation to supply us with the power to walk in the riches of God's grace. 

So, where do we find grace to help in time of need?  Where is grace when we want to respond with a quick retort when instead we should probably hold our tongue?  In a world full of problem people and challenging situations, we need grace more than ever.  We need to live and give grace as never before.

To find grace, or to see a life exemplified by grace, we need to study God's Word and look deeply into the life of Christ, who gave His life in order for us to receive the riches of God's grace.  We need to know what Scripture says about grace, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the attitude of Jesus, who sacrificed everything and became a servant of all. 

To live a life filled with grace requires that we humble ourselves and empty ourselves of pride, entitlement, and self-pity, then ask the Holy Spirit to supernaturally do in and through us what we cannot do in our own power -- walk in the love and grace of Jesus Christ.

You won't find grace in a pill, a formula, or in the person you see in the mirror every morning.  You can only find grace in the One who died so you could receive the riches of God's grace. 

Copyright © 2012 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.
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