Beloved, welcome to the month of DIVINE GRACE
God’s Grace Is Mind-Blowing
Have you ever felt restless? Maybe you feel anxious right now but can’t put your finger on why. I think we’ve all experienced it, not realizing this feeling can come from the fact that we’re not content with our life. We think we’re missing something, so we begin to search for it. Maybe it’s from a lack of fulfillment at work or happiness in a relationship or satisfaction at home. Unfortunately, a lot of times we look in all the wrong places for something to fill our empty spaces. Some people look to food while others look to alcohol or drugs. Some try to find meaning and purpose through other people’s lives on social media.
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Now what is GRACE? unmerited favour of God. Grace is the love of God shown to the unlovely; the peace of God given to the restless; the unmerited favor of God.
Grace is most needed and best understood in the midst of sin, suffering, and brokenness. We live in a world of earning, deserving, and merit, and these result in judgment. That is why everyone wants and needs grace. Judgment kills. Only grace makes alive.
A shorthand for what grace is – “mercy, not merit.” Grace is the opposite of karma, which is all about getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve, and not getting what you do deserve. Christianity teaches that what we deserve is death with no hope of resurrection.
DIVINE GRACE: of or relating to God, especially the Supreme Being. addressed, appropriated, or devoted to God; religious; sacred: divine worship. proceeding from God: divine laws; divine guidance. godlike; characteristic of or befitting a deity: divine magnanimity.
DIVINE MEANS: GOD IS INVOLVED
Divine grace is a theological term present in many religions. It has been defined as the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation; and as an individual virtue or excellence of divine origin
Grace in Christianity is the free and unmerited favour of God as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowing of blessings.Common Christian teaching is that grace is unmerited mercy (favor) that God gave to humanity by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross, thus securing man’s eternal salvation from sin.
Within Christianity, there are differing concepts of how grace is attained. In particular, Catholics and Reformed Protestants understand the attainment of grace in substantially different ways.God has imparted Divine Grace upon humanity and uses the vehicle of sacraments, which are carried out in faith,as a primary and effective means to facilitate the reception of his grace.For Catholics, sacraments (carried out in faith) are the incarnational or tangible vehicle through which God’s grace becomes personally and existentially received.Reformed Protestants, generally, do not share this sacramental view on the transmittal of grace,but instead favor a less institutionalized mechanism. For example, in the Catholic Church, the primary initiation into a state of grace is granted by God through baptism (in faith) instead of by a simple prayer of faith (sinner’s prayer); although, Catholics would not deny the possible efficacy of even a simple prayer for God’s grace to flow (Baptism by desire).
In the New Testament, the word translated as grace is the Greek word charis (/ˈkeɪrɪs/; Ancient Greek: χάρις), for which Strong’s Concordance gives this definition: “Graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude)”.Spiritual gifts or charismata which comes from the word family charis, is defined in the New Bible Dictionary as “grace coming to visible effect in word or deed.”A Greek word that is related to charis is charisma (gracious gift). Both these words originated from another Greek word chairo (to rejoice, be glad, delighted).
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew term used is chen (חֵן), which is defined in Strong’s as “favor, grace or charm; grace is the moral quality of kindness, displaying a favorable disposition”. In the King James translation, chen is translated as “grace” 38 times, “favour” 26 times, twice as “gracious”,once as “pleasant”, and once as “precious”.
Two things we all need to know about grace
Economists say, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Nothing in this world comes for free. Even when we don’t pay and a friend picks up our meal, someone is still paying for it.
Grace works the same way. Now, before you say that I’m wrong because grace is free, don’t forget that grace was not free. It was costly. It cost God His son, and it cost Jesus His life.
You Can’t Earn What Is Free
What does that mean for us? It means we can’t earn our salvation or buy God’s favor. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin (Ephesians 1:7). Paul tells a church in Ephesus, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8).
Salvation comes by grace through faith. It is not earned through attending church, memorizing your Bible, or avoiding alcohol. No amount of good works will earn God’s favor. God can’t love you any more than He already does. He loves us fully and completely. If we miss this, we’ll spend our entire lives trying to earn something we already have — like that person who searches for their glasses that already sit on top of their head. Instead of joyfully serving such a gracious God, we’ll find ourselves slaves to fear and doubt, spending our time trying to grasp and maintain God’s approval.
Grace Never Runs Away
Sometimes grace is hardest when we’ve messed up big time. When we sin and feel rightful regret because we have hurt the God we love, we want to earn His love back. Like a husband bringing home flowers for his wife to reconcile after a fight, we want to bring God something, anything, that will make us feel worthy of His love again. There is nothing we can bring God to change His disposition toward us. It is not your behavior that merits grace; it’s faith. C. S. Lewis wrote, “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”
Maybe a free lunch and free grace do not exist, but because of God’s great love, He picked up your tab. And through faith, you have been lavished with free grace (Ephesians 1:8).