Grace. Got plenty. And you do, too. Enough to give to those who need it.

Grace is the tagline of the Christian faith. But what is it? The New Compact Bible Dictionary notes that biblical writers used the term with a variety of meanings:

  • “that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, charm, sweetness, loveliness”
  • “good will, loving-kindness, mercy”
  • “the kindness of a master toward a slave…it has come to mean the kindness of God to man”
  • “instrument through which God has effected the salvation of all believers”
  • “the sustaining influence enabling the believer to persevere in the Christian life”

Most of us don’t think about the meaning or even claim to understand it. We just know God extended it and we are grateful.

Grace is the cornerstone of reconciliation, bringing sinful man into relationship with God.

Scanning my Bible concordance, I noticed most of the references to grace are in the writings of Apostle Paul. This persecutor of Christians knew what it meant to receive grace. It changed his direction and his life.

Scanning my Bible concordance, I noticed most of the references to grace are in the writings of Apostle Paul. This persecutor of Christians knew what it meant to receive grace. It changed his direction and his life. Click To Tweet

He wrote this.

“But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).

“And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One). He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.

“For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are ye saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God”   (Ephesians 2:4-8 Amplified).

Key points:

  • God is rich in mercy.
  • Because of his intense love, he freely extended grace—unmerited favor, the gift of God.
  • By grace he delivered us from judgment and gave us the very life of Christ.

That’s what God’s grace did for us. So I’m thinking about how my grace impacts my daily relationships. Because God lavished his grace on me when I didn’t deserve it, I can lavish it on others, even when they don’t deserve it. Easy to say…sometimes hard to practice.

Because God lavished his grace on me when I didn’t deserve it, I can lavish it on others, even when they don’t deserve it. Easy to say…sometimes hard to practice. Click To Tweet

Grace has a companion that helps us here. Mercy. “Forbearance from inflicting punishment…That compassion which causes one to help the weak, the sick or the poor.”

Paul offers instruction. “Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and longsuffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].

“Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference  (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].

“And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony]” (Colossians 3:12-14 Amplified).

That high standard is to be typical behavior for Christ-followers.

So I’m thinking…are there relationships that need my grace and mercy today?

Grace. Got plenty. Enough to give away.

Please share how extending grace and mercy changed a relationship in your life. And I’d be grateful if you would share this article with your friends.

© Dianne Barker 2020

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