God's Extravagant Gift
For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. -- John 1:16
Grace is an extravagant gift from God—a gift many of us find extremely difficult to understand, let alone accept.
Grace is God’s unfathomable gift of love, favor, kindness, mercy, and forgiveness. It’s the root of our faith. It grounds us and reminds us we have a loving heavenly Father who sympathizes with our weaknesses and struggles. God’s grace washes us clean and removes every particle of our sin from His sight.
The best way to fully embrace God’s gift of grace is to set aside our need to hold on to our mistakes—our sin. We need to unpack the negative baggage we are carrying and willingly accept His gift without self-condemnation, fear, shame, hurt, or sin.
Max Lucado puts it this way:
“Grace comes after you, it rewires you, from insecure to God secure, from regret riddled to better because of it, from ready to die to ready to fly, grace is the voice that calls you to change and then gives you the power to pull it off.”
The apostle Paul urges us not to receive the grace of God in vain; “And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain” 2 Corinthians 6:1 (NASB)
In his book, The Gospel According to the Apostles, author John MacArthur talks about the modern view of grace using the term coined by Dietrich Bonhoeffer; “cheap grace.”
MacArthur says, “Many professing Christians today utterly ignore the biblical truth that grace “instruct[s] us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12).
Instead, many people live as though grace is a “Get Out of Jail FREE” ticket, a no-strings-attached, open-ended package of amnesty, beneficence, indulgence, forbearance, charity, leniency, immunity, approval, tolerance, and self-awarded privilege divorced from any moral demands.”
Grace is not a one-time, name-it-and-claim-it event in the Christian experience. Once we are saved, we are a new creation, old things have passed away and new things have come (2 Corinthians 5:17). Therefore, in order to keep God’s grace from being in vain, as Paul warns, we must embrace it fully, do away with shame and self-condemnation, turn away from our sin, be reconciled to God, and pursue a life worthy of His amazing grace.
We stand in grace (Romans 5:2). The entire Christian life is driven and empowered by grace: “It is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods” (Hebrews 13:9). Peter said we should “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
God’s grace is abundant and available to us all. His love and comfort are waiting patiently for us as we seek to find comfort in the people, places, and things of this world. Our most courageous action is to relinquish our need for control and rest in the loving arms of our Savior. Only then will we find true comfort, a comfort we will want to shout about to everyone we meet.
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” -- 2 Corinthians 1:2-4 (NASB)
Do you find comfort and reassurance in God’s gift of grace?