Recently have been hearing a lot about grace, and been thinking a lot about grace. Every thing from sermons at church, to the ones I hear online, and especially in the book I’ve been reading. I’ve recently bought Jesus Is by Pastor Judha Smith and he wrote a whole chapter about Jesus being grace. While reading the chapter I saw myself a couple of years ago before I grasped (sort of, I guess kind of not really) the concept of God’s grace, as I kept reading a realized that I also saw myself recently (like last week). This got me thinking I without knowing it I can feel guilty of grace. Reading this sentence out loud it actually sounds kind of crazy but it is the truth. And these last couples of months I’ve been hearing about grace I realized how little I have thought about God’s grace, which resulted in me feeling guilty every time I saw that I received grace from God.
As Christians we hear about grace all the time and at the exact moment while hearing we come to some kind of realization, however because of daily activities we start put less thought into God’s grace for us because we don’t hear a sermon every single week just about grace. I mean we know that we receive God’s grace, and thank Him for it when we pray, but how much more thought do we put into how amazing God’s grace really is. I believe many of us sometimes feel guilty of grace without realizing it just like I did because we don’t fully understand God’s grace for us. I don’t believe we will ever fully understand God’s grace but the more we learn the better we can experience it. These last couple of months I have learned a couple of things (especially from the book) about God’s grace.
1. God’s grace is not a human defined favor.
In the book “Jesus Is” Pastor Judha put down some definitions that the dictionary says that grace is. One that really caught my eye was favor. We tend to think of God’s grace is the grace described by that definition. His grace is not a favor; at least not in the way that we think of the word favor. We think that God is doing us a favor by forgiving us. However, a favor is something done out of goodwill and God’s grace is not given to us because He is just being nice it’s given to because He loves us more than we deserver.
2. We don’t receive grace because we are worthy.
As humans alone we are never going to be worthy of God and everything He has and will do for us. I realized by reading “Jesus Is” that we sometimes think that if we do enough good things we will be worthy of receiving God’s grace. But that’s when I believe the guilt comes in because we somehow, maybe consciously or unconsciously, know that we will never be worthy so we feel reluctant when receiving God’s grace and we condemn ourselves and feel bad. But the beautiful side to this is that although we might not be worthy as only humans we are worthy as humans in Jesus Christ. The bible says in Titus 3:5
He saved us, not because of the righteous things we have done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
And that is what we have to remember.
3. Grace is Jesus
This is a way I learned to look at grace entirely from “Jesus Is” but after reading it I see it could not be truer. I mean we receive God’s grace through Jesus once we accept Him. I had never thought about grace this way, having this picture painted in my head. But the more I think about grace as the literal person of Jesus Christ it starts to become clearer to me, grace, and being able to accept it and know that it is giving to me by love becomes easier. Because the truth is if you accept Jesus you have already accepted grace! We have no need to feel guilty of it because Jesus was given to us because of His love for us and so is grace. I don’t really know what other way to explain this because truthfully I’m still trying to really learn what it means to me.
I don’t really know how to put this last one into like one sentence so I won’t try to. This last thing I learned is based on the passage in the bible that I heard in every single sermon that I have heard about grace these last couple of months, the passage in John 8: 1-11. This passage is just so amazingly overwhelmed with grace because the only man who could have condemned the lady turned to her and said “Then Neither do I condemn you” “go now and leave your life of sin”. You see based on Law of Moses the lady was to be put to death for her sin of adultery and Jesus showed her grace and mercy because He loved her. He could have thrown a stone because Jesus had never sinned but He chose to give her a second chance. So I guess you can say what I learned is grace is a second chance. God’s grace is Gods way of giving us a second chance and Jesus was the one who came to give us that chance. That is so important.
I know I still have a lot to learn about God’s grace and as I grow and with every passing day He will reveal more and more to me. And I can proudly say that I no longer feel guilty of grace.