Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lived-Out Grace

See to it that no one misses
the grace of God.
               Hebrews 12:15 NIV

     Webster’s defines grace as thoughtfulness towards others; good will—favor. The Greek word charis, the state of kindness or favor toward someone, is translated into our English word grace. Maybe you have either said or heard the statement someone graced me today—someone showed you favor, gave you a gift or did something nice for you.

     How big is this thing we call grace? As Christians we agree that it is God’s grace that sent Jesus to earth to walk among us and die for our sin so that we can live eternally with our Heavenly Father; what about daily living? Does God’s grace for us stop upon salvation? If it does not, what do we do with that? How do we live out the grace of God? What good is it? The Bible gives us many examples of lived-out grace.

     In Acts 6:8 we read that Stephen was “a man full of God’s grace and power” and that he, “did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.”  As he was being stoned to death, his last utterance was a request for God’s grace, not for himself but for his enemies. He cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”  It appears that Stephen had both living and dying grace.

     In 1 Corinthians 15:10, the Apostle Paul tells us, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” Paul began his various letters with, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father.”  He knew about grace. It was God’s grace that changed Paul from a persecutor of Christians to one highly revered among them.       

     God’s grace should be recognizable in His children. In Galatians 2:9, Paul revealed that Peter, James and John, pillars of the church, recognized God’s grace on Paul and gave their approval for his work.

     Thousands of sermons have been preached, devotionals and books written, and discussions had about the grace of God. It is a subject far too big for these few hundred words. But my hope is that these words will spur you on to your own study of God’s Word. See what He says about His grace. Think about how God’s grace not only saves us from sin but allows us to live a life in which we can bestow grace upon others; not that we should but that we must.
     Because God graced us with the gift of His Only Son, Jesus, how can we do less than show the world a lived-out grace in return?


©JP 2013

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