THE GIFT OF GRACE
When I unwrapped today’s gift, it was almost like coming home…or sitting by a peaceful stream. Even the vowel “a” has a long, soothing sound to it. But grace is much more than sounds and feelings.
God’s grace refers to the kindness of God toward the undeserving. His mercy focuses on our helplessness or our suffering, but His grace focuses on our unworthiness.
God’s grace is completely opposite to works. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Eph. 2:8-9) We cannot “earn” our way into heaven by doing good works. We cannot “earn” blessings by doing good works. Salvation is given to us freely because of the grace of God.
As with the other wonderful characteristics of God, His grace is boundless and never ends. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and super abounded, (Romans 5:20, Amplified). The amount of God’s grace far exceeds the depth of our sin.
God’s grace works in us to help us grow to spiritual completeness and maturity. “The God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you. (I Peter 5:10)
My grandfather, Papa Evans, set the bar high for his children when it came to living a Christian life. Even though he died when I was ten years old, he was a great influence on my young life. His favorite hymn talked about the “marvelous grace…that exceeds our sin.” Below are the lyrics. May you be blessed with God’s grace as you read these lyrics and may you pay His grace forward to everyone you meet.
Grace Greater Than Sin
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.
Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?
*Words: Julia H. Johnston, in Hymns Tried and True (Chicago, Illinois: The Bible Institute Colportage Association, 1911), number 2.
Abba Father, Today, I thank you for my Papa Evans who, because of the way he lived his life and the example he set, raised all of his children to live for you. And because of that, his grandchildren know you, too. Thank You for Your grace. Thank you Father that You give us Your grace so that we may have grace towards others. AMEN.