Monday, November 22, 2021

         Grace is certainly a word commonly used among Christians.  We often define grace as “unmerited favor.’  We recognize that we have done nothing to gain this divine goodwill.  Our English word grace comes from the Greek word “charis.”  Grace is a special gift or bestowment that we have not earned, do not deserve, cannot win and do not inherit from our family line.  Someone has suggested that grace is an acronym where each letter of the word stands for something else.  Grace means “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense...or GRACE.”  This acronym is a good way to remember grace.  It teaches us at least three important lessons.  First, grace comes from God.  It is not of human or earthly origin.  Grace is divine in origin.  Whatever we may know about grace or however we may practice it comes first from our receipt of grace from God.  Second, grace does not cost us anything.  It is free to us.  It comes to us freely.  Christ gave His life so we could experience the grace of the Father.  And third, grace is without equal.  It is the fullness of God’s riches and gifts. 
            Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:4, “I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.”  Paul was thankful for the grace that was shown to and given to the Christians in Corinth.  We might not often think of grace as a reason or occasion for giving thanks.  We might not think much about grace from day to day.  We can easily lose sight of God’s incredible goodness and divine favor.  But without grace we would be lost—spiritually and personally.  It is grace alone that saves us from our sins and grace that enables us to navigate the pathways of life that confront us.  We can treat others with grace because we were treated with grace by God.  We often have to check our motives, decisions and actions to see if grace is at work or if we are acting in the flesh.
            As we approach Thanksgiving Day this week, I would encourage you to be thankful for grace.  Give thanks for the grace that God has demonstrated toward you.  We often fail to be gracious toward others because we do not appreciate the depth of the grace that God has given us and how that grace came to us only through the death and punishment of Jesus.  Be grateful for the grace that others have shown you.  Most of us would have to admit that we occasionally blow it in life and badly so.  In those times we need grace.  We need a second chance and forgiveness and the opportunity to get right what we first got badly wrong.  Be grateful for those people who were gentle teachers to and for you. 
            God’s grace reaches you as you read His Word, worship Him, seek Him in prayer and follow Him faithfully and devotedly.  When we realize the depth of the grace we have been given, we should easily let go of hard feelings and resentments that we are tempted to nurse and hold.  Give thanks for God’s grace.  And look for evidence of where that grace has changed and shaped you.  And be sure to show that same grace to those around you.  Have a great Monday!
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