SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(Rev 22:21) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Grace. That word we all love but sometimes have a difficult time explaining. That which we need the most but have a difficult time attaining. It can change our lives and also be sustaining. Grace is defined as “unmerited favor.” You can’t earn it…it’s the free gift of God. Some explain it with an acronym: God’s Richest At Christ’s Expense. I like it spelled out like this: Justice is getting what you deserve…Mercy is not getting what you deserve…Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.
The Bible says we are saved by grace: (Eph 2:8-9) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation. We are helpless sinners from birth and bound for eternal destruction. We have violated the law of God and stand judged for condemnation. But God saw our fallen condition and interposed. He sent Jesus His Son to die on our behalf. He was the spotless Lamb who died as our substitute. Now those who put their trust in the work Jesus did on the cross and in His resurrection will be saved by God’s grace.
The Bible says we also grow in our faith by grace. (2 Pet 3:18) but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… There is that tendency in us as believers to think it’s up to us to continue on by our own merits. How wrong! Just as we are saved by grace we also grow in grace. We can’t do a thing without the Lord. How we desperately try to work for our sanctification but end up failing so pitifully. Every Christian has to learn this valuable lesson. Jesus said: …for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5) We will never measure up to that perfect standard. We all fall short. Thank God we are under grace and not the law!
Grace is something that is also transferable to others. You can give to others what they don’t deserve. You can offer them that free gift of forgiveness and overlook their faults because you know God’s grace has done that for you! It sets your offender free and keeps your heart free from the hardness of bitterness and unforgiveness. (Mat 10:8)…Freely you have received, freely give. (See also Mat 18:21-35)
Grace has changed my life. I had always struggled with that condemnation the devil puts upon you that you’re not good enough. I thought if I worked harder and became more dedicated God would reward my efforts. Then the Lord taught me that everything is a free gift from Him. (Jms 1:17) It has also taken judgmentalism from my heart. I have more grace for others that I never used to have because I was holding them to a standard. Now I can just love people and accept them for who they are. Instead of elbowing them I give them more elbow room. And you know what’s funny? I then see changes in their lives! Grace…what a great way to live!!