Because His Grace Reaches Me…

When it comes to the subject of grace, I imagine that we really don’t need is another discussion of what grace is and how we benefit from grace. While there is always more to learn regarding any biblical subject, I’m convinced our best means of learning beyond the basics is through living out and living into the truths we already know. When it comes to the subject of God’s grace, this seems to be especially apropos.

So, how would you respond to someone who asked, “How has God’s grace made a difference in the way you live your life?” That’s really the core issue, isn’t it?

Perhaps we should think about how we would complete the following statement: Because God’s grace reaches me…?

A couple of key passages give us insight into this topic. As you think about your response, reflect on these verses:

1) Ephesians 2:1-10, especially verses 8-10. Here we read: 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

2) Titus 3:1-8, especially verses 3-8. Here we read: 3At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

 

When I think about the impact of these truths on my life, one thought keeps coming to my mind. It is this: Because God’s grace reaches me everything has changed!

There are additional thoughts—more specific observations, to be sure. Still this one phrase seems to sum up the impact of God’s grace: Because God’s grace reaches each of us, our lives are radically changed.

…Though we were once dead in our transgressions and sins, now we are alive with Christ!

…Though we were once objects of God’s wrath we are now the workmanship of God!

…Though we were once foolishly enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures, we have now been justified by God’s grace.

Now, when I think about God’s grace in a broader context, some additional observations come to mind. These are…

 

(1) Because God’s grace reaches me, I have a new attitude towards God—Psalm 103:1-22…

1Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits— 3who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. 7He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: 8The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; 14for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. 15As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. 17But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— 18with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. 19The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. 20 Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. 21Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. 22 Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, O my soul.

 

(2) Because God’s grace reaches me, I have a new attitude towards self—Galatians 2:20…

20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

 

(3) Because God’s grace reaches me, I have a new attitude towards service—1 Peter 4:10-11…

10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

 

(4) Because God’s grace reaches me, I have a new attitude towards others—Ephesians 4:20-32…

20You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 25Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold. 28He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. 29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

(5) Because God’s grace reaches me, I have a new attitude towards adversity—Romans 5:1-5…

1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

 

Well, there are scores of additional things I could list, but these should be sufficient to cause us to spend a few minutes appreciating God for His grace and reflecting on our lives under this grace. Perhaps it would also be good for each of us to consider these two questions:

 

(1) Has God’s grace impacted my life in the way God wishes it to?

(2) Has it changed everything?

About a fellow sojourner

a sojourner in life, trying to follow in the steps of Jesus.
This entry was posted in Blogroll, Christian Living, Christianity, Church, Discipleship Training, Embracing Grace, Grace, Religion, Spirituality & Religion. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Because His Grace Reaches Me…

  1. cwinwc says:

    Due to God's grace I was able to make it through the incident that happen just before our week (see my post on "Assassins") of Bible Camp. Praise God.

  2. Praise the Lord, Cecil!

    Many have been praying for you. But, I’m sure you know that. Now, may God’s amazing grace enable you to soar to lofty heights far above the mess created by those whose preoccupation seems to be managing minutiae!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Bill,
    Great post.

    Grace is one of those topics that deserves our attention, and yet, it is also one of those topics that we can never quite do justice. You, however, do a great job of reminding us just what grace is.

    Because of grace, I am still breathing, still searching, still seeking, still journeying on with Him, and lastly, still hoping.

    This part of Romans 5 spoke to me just now:

    3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

    Hope. Such a small word with such HUGE connotations. Sometimes it hurts to hope; yet, it hurts worse to not have any. I confess I am somewhere in between the two….hurting while hoping and wondering if there is any hope after all. I love Him with everything in me, and I take great satisfaction in knowing that I am His, but it is only through His grace that I am still able to have the tiniest bit of hope.

    And for that tiny bit, I am ever grateful.

    Thank you for reminding me tonight of one of the most beautiful Truths in this world–GRACE.

    GRACE to you!
    His,
    Jennifer

  4. Thank you for reflecting on the power of grace.

    Shalom,
    Bobby Valentine
    Stoned-Campbell Disciple

  5. Angie says:

    Well, Hey there Bill! How’s my new friend over here at the Oasis? I have some catching up to do – reading the good things I missed while I was on the road.

    I tell ya, this post truly lives up to your blog name. What an oasis I’ve found in grace! I’m so ashamed of how I lived for years minimizing its role in my spiritual life. Even then… I was steeped in the same grace I’m growing to understand today.

    It’s just too beautiful for words.

    Looking forward to sharing this faith journey with you!

    Angie

  6. Greg England says:

    I grew up in a mostly graceless corner of our tradition. If grace was preached, it was not biblical grace at all. Imagine my surprise when I attended HGSR and learned how to study the bible for myself. After a sort of Pauline experience (three years I re-visited everything I’d ever been taught), I began to not only embrace biblical grace, but dared to preach it in that same area. My parents thought I’d become a baptist! They prayed earnestly for me over a period of years until, after my father’s death, mom began to worship where Dr. Bob Hendren preached and she discovered biblical grace.

    The difference it’s made in my life? Everything! How I preach. How I relate to God. How I relate to others. How I view those who disagree with me on matters of religious opinion. How I view brothers and sisters in the Lord who worship under a different name across the building or sign. How I raised my children to think. How I relate to an incorrigible dog! How I view myself. My prayer life. My approach to bible study.

    I could go on, but you get the point and I appreciate the reminder of the beauty of God’s grace in my life!

  7. Your last two questions are rhetorical, but I will answer the last one:

    Yes, it has changed everything.

    Peace.

  8. Hello, blogging friends. I’ve been out of pocket all day, but do appreciate you stopping by…AND for your great comments. Isn’t grace amazing?

  9. Dee Andrews says:

    I’m sorry to have gotten behind over here in commenting. Have been very busy with other things and haven’t had much blogging time at all this week.

    I really don’t know what else I can say here that will add in any way to your excellent thoughts and moving passages, including Psalms 103, which struck a chord with me this afternoon. Then there are the wonderful comments that have been shared already, too. I understand every word you’ve said and that your commenters have said very well because I’ve experienced all of the same things in my own life where grace is concerned.

    This is the only original thought I can think to share at the moment on grace and I offer it as an invitation, as well, for any of you who might be interested.

    I don’t know if any of you have heard of or wandered by and discovered the blog called “Grace Notes” that has several contributors, some of whom some of you might know. Take a look at it if you have a moment and read some (or all) of the posts as you have time. I think you will be uplifted and encouraged by it – I hope anyway.

    You see – Grace Notes was created last fall by me after a post-Katrina blog post I wrote at Finding Direction generated much interest and one of my good blogging buddies thought I should create a blog singularly dedicated to sharing with each other and others stories of goodness and kindness, even in the smallest ways, shown to us by people we come in contact with day by day in our lives.

    I was led to do so and it has been very rewarding, although I must confess I have greatly neglected it the past three or four months and have determined to rejuvenate it because we had a lot of people stopping by all the time when all of us were writing short pieces for it. Mike Cope was even kind enough to mention it one day for me from his blog.

    If any of you would be contributors and/or to submit stories of your own, just email me and I’ll be glad to include you. I’ve had feedback from a good many people outside the blogging world who were checking in all the time. One of my childhood school classmates who lives in Sweetwater, Texas told me she used Grace Notes in a Methodist ladies seminar she taught as an example of how we can and should serve ourselves as “grace notes” to everyone WE meet from day to day.

    I’ve even been thinking we should try to make up cards to hand out to people who serve as grace notes in our lives, if I can figure out what we should have on the cards. I perceive a kind of “Pay It Forward” project, for those of you who have seen the movie.

    Anyway – if you find it worthwhile and would like to be a part of it, just let me know. I’d love to publish any grace note stories you have or can think of to write about. If you’ll read a few of the posts, you’ll get a good idea of what it’s all about. Practicing God’s grace in this world with everyone we meet.

    Oh yeah – some of the contributors are Patrick Mead (the first to answer my original invitation, bless his heart), Danny Sims, my dear blogging friend, and excellent “roofer,” TCS, my other good blogging friend Donna and Anthony Parker, who’s just returned from a long mission work in Africa.

    And, yes, God’s grace and my growing understanding of it has totally and completely changed my life for better. For good. For trying to practice agape love and Christian service. For bringing me freedom to live and love and laugh without being burdened by my failings and shortcomings. Yes. Absolutely.

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