What is grace to you?
looking at the dictionary definition of grace listed below try to write out your definition of grace, don’t forget no
peeking. Cover up the definition with a piece of paper if the temptation to look
is too strong.
how much of your definition of grace matches what is found in the dictionary?
your definition include such words as free, undeserving, not something earned but something given and the list could on and
dictionary defines grace as:
- A disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill.
- Mercy; clemency.
- Divine love and protection bestowed freely on people.
- The state of being protected or sanctified by the favor of
- An excellence or power granted by God.
How many of these traits do you see in Jesus?
Now excluding the ones attributed to God, how many of the traits associated with grace do you see in
Remember were it not for grace,
where would you be?
We often forget where we came from. While it is not a good thing
to dwell on the past as far as grace is concerned it is a good idea to remember what was granted to us on the cross and where
we would be headed if not for the work of the cross. Remember the cross
although important was not the focus it was the love and grace of God who hung on the cross that should be our focus.
He came died to offer us life. In my book that is the ultimate
act of grace. Christ took the wages of my sin, your sin the world’s sin
on His shoulders, which resulted in the Father turning away from His son because God cannot look upon sin. Jesus who was there for our creation was now the author of our recreation. We must remember that grace at all times because it will help us to remember who we truly are without Jesus
and how much we need to always show grace, live gracefully and be gracious in every situation.
Remember the grace that was shown to you by Jesus Christ, when you are put in authority over others or
in your day to day dealing with all the people you come in contact with, such as your paper boy, the clerk at your local grocery
store, your husband or wife, your kids and the list goes on and on and on.. If
you come in contact with someone offer him or her grace.
Read Ephesians 2:4-10
What does this verse say to you about the outcome of God’s grace to us?
As Christians grace is important to us. Think of it as a
triangle with faith, grace and good works as the three sides. If you take any one of the sides away it is no longer a triangle
but two lines that are open and essentially will not hold anything or be useful to anybody.
If we have faith, that through grace we are saved then our lives are spent doing God’s good works here
on earth. Grace is an inward characteristic that is given to us by God
and provides ongoing power each day to do what is right and just to everyone else
Read the following verses what do they all have in common?
James 2:17 (NAS) Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead,
being by itself.
Luke 6:46 (NAS) "Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not
do what I say?"
2 Corinthians 13:5 (NAS) Test yourselves to see if you are in
the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you
fail the test?
Galatians 6:7 (NIV) Do not
be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows”.
The answer is they all have to do with GRACE.
We have been granted grace, go and do likewise
There is never a reason for
Do not fall into the trap that
there must be a reason for Grace. If we do that we are in big trouble. There isn’t a reason for Grace we don’t deserve it yet we are given grace. We don’t earn Grace yet we are offered it as an alternative to what our wages should be, death. Grace is freely given yet all do not choose to receive it. Grace is a mysterious river that’s run deep and wide but can be crossed by all with God’s help.
We must never fall into the
trap of believing that to give grace we must be shown grace. Where would we be
if Jesus had done that? The answer is easy on our way to hell.
Now take the time to read these
verses. As you read them look for the ways grace is shown to the main character
of the story. Then answer these questions:
Did he deserve the grace
he was given? If not for what reasons.
Did he earn the grace that
was given to him by his actions?
Were the other characters
in the story graceful? If not which ones weren’t and why
You will recognize this passage as the Parable of the Prodigal son. This
story has always been interpreted as Jesus showing us the Father’s unconditional love towards his lost son which is
evidenced in the great party the Father throws for, the celebration of one who was lost and now is found. This is only part of the true story of the Prodigal Son because it is also a parable of grace.