No wonder people have trouble resting. It’s a complicated affair trying to figure out how to gain salvation. Earth’s religions dictate man-made solutions. If you want to be saved you better work hard. But a work-for-your-salvation mandate is fraught with inconsistency and produces great anxiety. How do I know what constitutes bad, marginal or good-to-go conduct? What will I be the next time I’m recycled? How do I recognize if the gods are pleased? What religion offers the best hope for getting my passport stamped for eternal entry into celestial paradise?
Ephesians 2:8,9-- For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast.
2 Corinthians 4:15-- Indeed, everything is for your benefit, so that grace, extended through more and more people, may cause thanksgiving to increase to God’s glory.
According to the Bible, no matter what colossal spiritual acts I perform, I, and everyone else, still possess a personally signed, sin-stamped nature which is repulsive to a perfect Creator (Romans 3:23). The Apostle Paul wrote in the New Testament that all people are dead in their sins and by their nature before God, objects of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-7). In essence, we’re all hosed. But hold on! Instead of mankind having to produce a solution, God devised, revealed and implemented His own cosmic plan. He dispatched His Son to be a sacrificial Lamb for a culpable people. His afflatus gave mankind a way to escape a guilty verdict. He did it because of His awesome love and rich mercy for us. So what sets apart Christianity from every other religion is GRACE! Grace isn’t bestowed because we earn it. It comes because we’ve placed our faith in a perfect Savior.
So what! You already know what grace is? Stay with me. I’d like to propose a theory. The evidence that a man understands grace should be reflected in the manner in which he treats others and how he responds to other’s treatment. After all:
¨ Grace is liberating. Have you ever listened to the song of a pardoned prisoner?
¨ Grace is unlimited. Jesus God never runs out of love for the world (John 3:16)
¨ Grace is contagious. One who understands mercy should in turn be merciful. If I think hard about what it cost God to save me, I ought to be full of joy and the desire to tell others of the gift God wants them to have.
¨ Grace is therapeutic. The penalty of sin is death and separation from God. The balm of grace is life and fellowship with Him forever.
Perhaps you have resisted the whole notion of grace. Are you tired of climbing up the mountain on your own? Today you can make a vital course change. The backpack of pride gets heavier with each step of unbelief. Let loose the straps. Have faith that the Lord is sufficient to massage your soul with His mercy and change your repentant heart forever.
Once you’ve taken a bath in grace the aroma should never wear off! How can others know the sweet reality of God’s favor if they don’t see it at work in you? Stay on the path of worship. Praise the One Who gives you life and ask Him to refill your passion with a renewed hope and joy. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” (Philippians 4:23).
The measure of our growth in grace is our attitude towards other people.—Oswald Chambers in Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
Grace must find expression in life, otherwise it is not grace.—Karl Barth, Swiss theologian, (1886-1968)
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)