My children are such little blessings. Every day I am blessed to be with them I learn more about myself and them. Just a few short years ago they were really into Star Wars. A popular salutation in those movies is “may the force be with you.” Well I’d like to kick this topic off with something more powerful than the force. The topic is grace.
I once heard that grace was getting something I didn’t deserve and mercy was withholding what I did deserve. I’m not sure who originally said that but it’s pithy and full of truth. There’s an old story regarding C.S. Lewis around a table of European intelligences and they were all mulling over the differences in world faiths. And in typical Lewis fashion when they inquired as to what he thought set Christianity apart from other belief systems, he says quite simply, “grace.” Simple, yet so hard for humans to give, receive, and comprehend. Yet we shower family and friends with salutations and presents for birthdays, Christmas, and other special occasions don’t we? So we have to understand it a little.
In eternal terms, speaking Biblically here, we are currently living in the Age of Grace. We received something we didn’t deserve. What we received was a reconciliation from God for a relationship we didn’t deserve, much less, want. A relationship many still don’t want today. What we received was a promise of salvation to anyone who put their faith in Jesus as their Savior. As it has been explained to me over the years, salvation is what we received, grace was the mechanism that delivered it. Ephesians 2:8 is probably the most famous Bible verse regarding grace so let’s look at that verse as well as 9 and 10. ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them’ (KJV). So grace is a gift, not something we earned or deserved.
A picture of this grace is if I was staring you face to face and had a gift in my hand. Suppose there was a pedestal standing in between us and I said this gift was from me to you and put it on the pedestal. If it remains on the pedestal, it’s still your gift, you’ll just never know what’s inside the package. If you take possession of it and physically open it, only then will you truly know the contents of the package and be the recipient. In this picture the process of gifting the package is grace. I gave you something you didn’t deserve or maybe didn’t even want, but I care about you so much I just had to do it anyway. The gift inside is salvation and unless you open up the package, you’ll just have the gifting of the gift (in this case grace), but you won’t know the contents (salvation) because you have not received the package into your possession. Please open the package. Doesn’t everyone like presents anyway?
Are you uncomfortable yet? I think that’s partially the idea, for this scenario, from a Christian perspective is fraught with eternal consequences. Pictures of the eternal can make us a little uncomfortable. I often wonder why people who aren’t believers even feel uncomfortable about this? Conscience, guilt, bad experience as a child, as an adult…I would say you are uncomfortable because something has been written on your heart and you are not paying attention to it. Perhaps there is a reason you are pushing it away? There is always the old excuse of “who are you to tell me how to live my life?” I guess a respectful response to this is I am a person who loves you and wants you spend eternity with God. If I had a cure for cancer I would tell not only you but the whole the world. I do not have a cure to cancer, but I have something a whole lot better. What a Christian has is the Gospel of God’s love for humanity and his salvific plan for you to spend eternity in His presence. All you have to do is receive that truth in your heart. That’s it! Cancer can’t beat that.
Remember our Morality section? Just think for an instant of all the years you’ve lived on this earth and how now you could be second-guessing that the way you have been living has not been in a communal relationship with God? It is my experience that people don’t like to be told they’re wrong, I know I don’t. Please remember truth has nothing to do with what and how you believe. It exists independent of you. This can be a tough pill to swallow.
So what I am telling you is that there is a way out of this predicament you find yourself in. By the grace of God we have been given salvation thru the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. It was won for you! It’s a gift, and was not earned or deserved. And it’s free. My prayer for you is that you allow this grace, His grace, into your heart, confess your sin to your Lord, receive and allow the Holy Spirit to change your life forever with the knowledge of God’s wonderful grace!
(KJV) Bible: King James Version