A Free Gift..
Grace is a hard concept for me sometimes. I like gifts just as much as the next person. I enjoy giving gifts, and i enjoy receiving gifts. When someone offers us a gift, it’s human nature to get excited and accept it – rarely will I ever turn down a free gift. I love free things, but how can I accept a free gift from someone that I’ve wronged – someone I’ve let down.
Grace is this free gift offered to me time and time again. Grace doesn’t compare. Grace doesn’t discriminate. Grace doesn’t judge. Grace is given freely, and I don’t deserve it. I’m not worthy. I can’t accept it. I would feel guilty taking it.
However, my thinking isn’t logically sound. When was I ever worthy? I wasn’t. I can’t earn grace, and I never could earn it. And, grace and guilt do not go hand in hand. Grace doesn’t know guilt. Grace is from God. Guilt is from the devil. Grace is a gift – free to me – that isn’t based on my actions. Grace has nothing to do with me, and it has everything to do with Christ.
I’ve been reading this book called “Jesus is ______.” and it explains grace really beautifully. Judah Smith writes, “When some people hear about grace, the first thing they think is: So, I can go out and do whatever I want, and God had to forgive me? They haven’t met grace – they’ve met a concept. They’ve met an idea. They’ve met a nice sermon. When you look in the eyes of grace, when you meet grace, when you embrace grace, when you see the nail prints in grace’s hands and the fire in his eyes, when you feel his relentless love for you – it will not motivate you to sin. It will motivate you to righteousness. When we meet grace, it becomes the fuel of our faith. We pray, we read our Bibles, we worship, and we live the purest lifestyle we can because we love a person. Allegiance to a doctrine can only last so long, but relationship trumps everything. We’ll do anything for someone we love.”
Jesus is Grace.
When we know that, everything changes. Grace is no longer this concept. Grace takes on flesh and bones. Grace is our friend, our Savior, our Lord. How can we not accept him and be motivated to live for him? Grace isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free-card. No, too me, grace is a reminder that yes, we are sinners, but we have a King who died for us and loves us. God knows we aren’t perfect – since the fall we aren’t capable of being perfect. We will sin, but with grace, we have the opportunity to keep living for Christ and becoming more and more like him. That’s a beautiful concept.
Knowing that, I hope it’ll be easier for me to extend grace. People are people. They sin. They let you down. They hurt you. They mess up. They make mistakes. But they are made in the image of God, and they are insanely loved by their creator. Everybody will disappoint you or hurt you at some point, because they are people, but grace is a beautiful gift that needs to be extended out of love for that person and love for our Savior.
Maybe this didn’t make any sense, because Grace is hard to explain. Hopefully, it shed a new light on grace.
Grace is not a concept.
Grace is a person.
Grace’s name is Jesus.