God’s Grace - 6 Ways to Understand Its True Meaning
What is the grace of God? Simply put it is God's favor and kindness toward us. God rains down grace on all mankind. He gave us the beauty and wonders of nature that we see each and every day. He gives us near misses when accidents are heading our way. He often brings us the right thing just in time. And He also gave us an innate conscience to know right from wrong. All these things are common graces, and everyone born on the earth has the benefit of them because God so loved the world.
Before I believed in the Lord, God wooed me with these kinds of graces: beautiful sunrises and sunsets, relaxing moments surrounded by God’s glorious creation in nature, fun, laughter, and camaraderie with friends. He also lured me with thoughts that there is something more in life, something beyond the simple notion that life is good.
Just being born on this planet includes many benefits. Oh, but when I became a believer in Christ, I got even more graceful benefits! In fact, believers are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm because we are united with Christ. Let's take a look at 6 specific areas where God shows us grace.
God's Salvation Grace
The best grace is that God purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave all our sins. This immeasurable gift was given to you when you believed. You didn’t work for it and you didn’t even deserve it. If He stopped there it would have been enough, but He continues to give us even more grace, kindness, wisdom, and understanding. What an awesome God! For He so loved the world that He gave His only Son.
“Be still (cease striving) and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10).
God's Numerous Grace
I have sinned, I sin, and I will sin. I always seem to do what I don’t want to do and not do what I want to do, even though I want to do right all the time. Yet God will forgive me each time if I repent. All sins — past, present, and future — are forgiven after you believe in Christ.
Sin comes naturally but righteousness takes focus. Focus on obeying God’s Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to help. On my own, I seem to always say or do the wrong thing. But, when I confess each sin, try and learn from it, and change my way of thinking, the Lord forgives me. Not just every now and then but all the time. There is much more grace than I have sin.
God's Forgiveness Grace
Not only are all of my sins forgiven when I repent but I also gain a supernatural ability to forgive others of offenses they commit. God helps me to forgive little offenses, big offenses, and even previously unforgivable ones.
I have learned that forgiveness is possible even when the offense caused extreme hurt. There are examples of people forgiving other people of murder. Jesus, Himself, said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” from the cross! This kind of forgiving grace doesn’t take away from the depravity of the offense, but it does provide an atmosphere where the offender can repent if he chooses.
Forgiving grace requires the strength of God because when I’m left to my own thoughts, revenge and/or depression are at the forefront of my mind. Forgiveness is usually a God-ordained thought.
God's New Grace
Each morning I have the glorious chance to begin again. If I made mistakes yesterday, I can start over with a clean slate. Every new day, hour, and breath is a chance for me to act better and display more of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Because of His presence within me, I always have new opportunities to think and do better.
Instead of thinking only of me, I can show concern for others. Instead of being full of anxiety, I can be full of peace and joy. Instead of tapping my foot, I can wait with patience. God’s grace gives me the self-control to act with kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness.
God's Freedom Grace
Grace gives me the freedom to forget about other people’s opinions. I can learn to be the person that God created me to be before the lies of this world attached themselves to me. I don’t need to impress other people. I just need to be faithful to the One who created me, and He already loves me, so I have nothing to prove.
I am free to be me. I am fearfully and wonderfully made with a purposeful design. Getting to know God through His Word helps me to know my purpose in life. And when I know it, I can go ahead and live it. If the Son sets me free, I am truly free (John 8:36).
God's Future Grace
God promised to be with me at all times. His Holy Spirit will counsel me and prompt me as I go through my days. He is with me in each present moment and those moments lead to a glorious future. Even when I go through trials, and I will, He is there to help me get through them and make the environment around me better. Jesus even said that here on earth I will have many trials and sorrows. But I can take heart, because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). The unknown is easier to go through when you have a hand to hold. That’s grace—the feeling that I’m never alone.
Always remember that grace is a gift. You can’t earn it, but you get a lot of it. It’s free and abundant. When you go to God in heartfelt prayer, He will always give you what you need. Forget about worrying about getting what you deserve. Grace is getting much more than you deserve.
“You parents — if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:9-11)
5 Comforting Verses to Reaffirm God's Grace
1. "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness'” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
God’s grace is sufficient, and this verse reaffirms that God’s grace is big enough to cover every area of our lives. Many times, it is easy to want to compartmentalize sections of our lives from God. God’s grace covers the good, the bad, and the ugly. God’s grace fills in the gaps where we fall short and make mistakes. That is great news! Today, I invite you to allow God’s grace to be sufficient and cover all areas in your life. God is not concerned with perfection, but for us to grow each day depending on Him more. God’s grace shines brightest in the broken places of our lives.
2. “…and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).
Despite our age, race, or socio-economic status, God’s grace does not discriminate. God’s grace is available for everyone who accepts Christ as their Lord and Savior. Through Christ’s redemption of our sinful humanity, God’s grace abounds and is overflowing. In the midst of our sin, God’s grace still covers, strengthens, and cleanses us from unrighteousness. Grace is available for both the saved and the sinner. The purpose of God’s grace is for Christians to grow closer to Him, recognizing their human limitations.
3. “We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are” (Acts 15:11).
God’s grace is an essential component for everyday life and foundational to the Christian faith. We need God’s grace to sustain us every day. Within our own strength, we will make mistakes daily. God’s grace reassures and reminds us to depend on God more. We are not alone, and receiving God’s grace provides an opportunity to glorify Him more. Grace fills in the areas where we fall short, letting us know it will be ok. God’s divine nature intercedes within our human frailties.
4. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).
God’s grace is present when we serve and use the specific gifts that God has called us to in various capacities. As humans who fall short and will make mistakes daily, God invites and encourages us to be “faithful stewards of God’s grace.” As we interact with others in our homes, workplace, ministry, or other social settings, we are to extend grace to others. God’s grace is extended to us, and we are to also extend that same grace to others. We are to extend grace to both ourselves and others when shortcomings take place, and welcome opportunities to start again. God’s grace covers various behaviors, attitudes, circumstances, and people. The good news about God’s grace is that it covers any scenario.
5. “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble’” (James 4:6).
There is no shortage of God’s grace, and there are no circumstances where God’s grace is not available. When we drift away from God or become too prideful, God’s grace invites us to draw back closer to God. The good news about God’s grace is that it is an open, free invitation to start anew. God does not give grace from compulsion, but it originates from God’s great love for His children. Despite how far we may stray away from God, His grace does not dry up and is always calling us back.
Excerpt from: Comforting Verses to Reaffirm God's Grace by Kirstyn Mayden
Photo credit: Thinkstock/Arrangements Photography
Jennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk. Her debut novel is available on Amazon. She lives near Atlanta, Ga. with her husband. Visit her at her websiteand/or on Facebook.