I love words. Originations, definitions, variations. Little wonder I’m a writer, because I could spend hours lost in the depths of a good dictionary. The older the dictionary, the better, and a concordance… Well, I think I might have died and gone to heaven when I get my hands on a good concordance and a few hours to spare.
The word I find myself interested in lately is ‘grace.’ We use it so easily sometimes, but do we really understand what it means? What the Bible says about it? It’s a powerful foundation for our belief, and it carries incredible freedom when we grasp it.
My Bible (Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation Second Edition, copyright 2007) says grace is God’s free and unmerited favor toward sinful humanity. Did you get that? Free and unmerited. From the creator of the universe. We can’t earn it. We can’t deserve it. We can’t stop it.
As if that’s not heavy enough, it points me toward the word ‘favor.’ “Gracious kindness, approval from a superior, a special privilege or right granted or conceded.” Another definition says, “to show partiality toward.”
God shows gracious kindness, approval, and partiality toward you and you can’t earn it, deserve it, or stop it. Take a minute to let that soak in. How does it feel?
I’m completely humbled.
The reason I’m so interested in grace right now is that I feel like I’ve ignored it. I’ve trivialized it and made it something I can earn with well-behaved children or a clean home. Healthy dinners, folded laundry, bills paid on time, good books, and a solid marketing plan for those books will surely make me good enough. If I can just fit all that in, plus Bible reading and daily prayer (and don’t forget pleasing everyone in sight while I’m at it), no one can find fault with me. I’ll be a good Christian, worthy of God’s favor.
But that’s ridiculous. I know the Bible says I can’t earn His favor. It’s a gift. Today’s truth, taken from Philippians 4:23, is to simply rest in that gift. To begin believing that God bestows His grace on me and I can accept it and relax in it.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with my spirit.
May it be with your spirit, and may we take a few minutes today to recognize its significance and simply accept it as we would a beautiful bouquet from a loved one. This is the best smelling flower we could ever receive.
What is your challenge in accepting God’s grace?