Today in New York, hurricane Irene has left her mark on this city with its violent winds and flooding but the question that came to my mind while witnessing this was, how great is His grace? As I read a blog from earlier during the day called, Favor IS Fair (which every learner should read), I was reminded of a few thought-provoking realities concerning the doctrine of Grace.
If you’ve been a Christian for a short period of time you may have heard the definition of Grace as “Unmerited, Unearned, Undeserved Favor.” That which we can’t alone act according to our abilities as finite creatures but it has been freely given to us.
Grace (cháris) – Means gracefulness, graciousness, favour, thanks, gratitude.
As a body of believers our relationships must be characterized by grace alone. It’s a level of kindness exhibited toward your fellow brother or sister instead of giving them the left hand of fellowship. I remember the first time I walked into the corridors of the church where I currently pastor. Brand new, not knowing the man-made rules of church seat policy; I made my way up to an empty row. It took no longer than a minute before I was approached by someone, who was older in years tell me, “Your in my seat, move!” What would grace do?
I had a grace choice that day to move to the next available seat or tell that person to drop dead! Grace got me up and I told the individual I was sorry for seating in their (imaginary) reserved seat. Lot was granted this type of effectual grace from Sodom when the messengers approached him and found favor with him (Gen 19:15-23). Jacob, the deceiver, sent every kind of gift he had to his brother so he wouldn’t pound his face in. And who can forget Joseph, the dreamer, who found this favor with Potiphar and was elevated to the position of manager.
All of these Genesis men received benefits but have we adopted grace as a means to inherit everything we can rather than entreat the favor to others? Have we misappropriated our freedom and liberty in Christ when its intention is to help those endure the plagues of life (Gen 39:21)? When you look in the mirror do you cover grace my human accolades or base it according to your salary?
John Owen once wrote, “If grace does not change human nature, I do not know what grace does.”
We wonder why our pews are empty and our small groups ineffective. We complain when a certain worship set or song is conducted instead of entering into the very presence of God. We read all kinds of self-help books that only provides a band-aid solution to our heart condition. Wake the Grace of God up and stop hitting the snooze button of conformity and convenience! The church has made it so difficult for people to turn to God when we distort the image of Grace.
Let’s begin by making Grace look irresistible, abounding in unity and love.
Grace IS Greater and it will look great on YOU!