Grace Notes

Most people know that grace is often defined as unmerited favor. Most readers of this blog also know what it is to experience the unmerited favor of God in the person of Christ, we have been given the gift of salvation, not on the basis of anything we have done to deserve it, but because God is gracious. Praise God for giving us what we need instead of what we deserve! I’ve heard this express this way: Grace is:

G od’s

R iches

A t

C hrist’s

E xpense

Many of us also know what it means to be treated well by a gracious person. You know what I’m talking about. Being in the company of a person who is not gracious really helps us to appreciate the preciousness of a gracious person. I could elaborate on this point, but that might not be gracious of me. What I do feel comfortable sharing in this regard is just how far this sort of practice should be taken—this notion of gracious treatment of one another.

This is brought to light in my studies of Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus. In Ephesians 4:31-32 we read, “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.” While the point of these verses is obvious, there is some quite specific in them that I’d like to point out.

The English translation of verse 32 doesn’t quite capture the idea of one of the Greek words. Where we read that we should be “forgiving” one another, we find the Greek word: χαρζομαι. This word is pregnant with meaning. While the occasional granting of forgiveness or pardon is one idea contained in this word, its meaning is much more expansive. It speaks of behavior that is to permeate and characterize our lives and our interacting with others. According to Thayer, this word also mandates followers of Jesus to:

— do something pleasant or agreeable (to one), to do a favour to, gratify
— show one’s self gracious, kind, benevolent
— give graciously, give freely, bestow
— graciously to restore one to another
— preserve for one a person in peril

We are to deal graciously with one another. We are to be kind and compassionate to one another, GRACEing one another just as in Christ God has GRACEd us. This is a tall order, isn’t it? This is why I have long said that the most compelling force for godly living is God’s grace. If we can get our minds around just how good God is to us, it will cause us to want to live godly lives.

This is also why I was so thrilled when a gracious sister named Dee Andrews invited me to become a contributor to the Grace Notes Ministries blog. This is a place where the exhortation of the Holy Spirit through the hand of the Apostle Paul is being fulfilled. It is a place where followers of Jesus can go to learn more about God’s reign and receive encouragement for daily living. I hope all of the readers of the Spiritual Oasis will stop by often, drink deeply from the many talented authors that contribute to this ministry by making comments. I really do believe that you will be blessed each time you stop by. At Grace Notes Ministries

G od

R eigns

A nd

C hristians

E ncourage one another in our journey into the enjoyed presence of God.

Blessings to all,

-bill

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, Following Jesus, Grace, Kingdom Living, Life, Missional Living, Religion, revival, Spiritual Renewal, Spirituality & Religion. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Grace Notes

  1. Mag says:

    It literally brings my soul to it’s most tender place to think of times when I should have received a pop on the head and someone was a “mother” or father” or “sister” or “brother” to me in appropriate ways (not too much, not too little…wisdom), and showed me that smile, that twinkle of the eye, that warm hug that says, “It’s okay. You are okay. It’s going to be okay. I love you.”

    Only in the body of Christ.

    Bill, so glad to see God expanding your “tent posts”, “increasing your territory”, because I know “to God be the glory”. May God multiple your time and talent!

  2. Bill says:

    Thanks so much for the comment and the kind words, Maggie! You made me think of a very dear friend who often gently leads me in the God’s will with both grace and wisdom.

    Sure glad our blogging paths crossed. Your perspective on things is so refreshing!!

    Blessings,
    -bill

  3. Emily says:

    A brilliant post Bill, thank you for posting. I so often need reminding of this – that we are called to be gracious to each other. And thank you for being such a gracious brother in Christ to so many of us! God bless you abudantly,

    Emily

  4. Kristine says:

    There are times when Grace becomes the most practical means to an end result that of course in time opens other avenues, crossroads, choices…
    I step forward one foot at a time, packing my families belongings as we prepare for major changes, and give away what little I myself own in order to lighten my material burdens…there will be enough to carry as I step out onto the wayside, a new and greater journey, as a poet and artist. please pray for calm and quiet decisions and words in the midst of contentious generations that doubt in the Greatness of God’s way.

    I make soup as frequently as possible…and find comfort in home cooking, thoughts of many places, words, ideals. I gratefully reside in a country where I will be able to travel freely and pray this continues for many years. Our forefathers words must guide the present and future…pray for this as well. Clarity and wisdom, love and forgiveness, strength and courage…and perseverence for the days to come.

  5. Kathy says:

    Kristine,

    I will be praying for you and look for your up dates of how it goes with you on this new journey. There is something in your ‘tone of typing’ that has caused a bit of uneasiness in my heart. I pray there is no great crisis going on in your life at this time, but feel there is. So I say a silent prayer for your next step and the ones following it. May our gracious LORD make His presence known to you every moment of this new venture. In His Son’s name. Amen!!

  6. Maria Toth says:

    I’ve heard that GRACE thing before, but thanks for reminding me.

    In Jesus,
    Maria
    http://www.inhishands.co.uk

  7. Kathy says:

    — do something pleasant or agreeable (to one), to do a favour to, gratify
    — show one’s self gracious, kind, benevolent
    — give graciously, give freely, bestow
    — graciously to restore one to another
    — preserve for one a person in peril

    =======

    Talk about stepping on another’s corns as they trod down the path to spiritual maturity! Did you really have to lay out in public view all my struggles and weaknesses for everyone to see?
    Ouch! and Humpf!
    I guess a good place to start would be to extend grace and forgiveness to you. 🙂

  8. Dee is a marvelous servant of God.

    Shalom,
    Bobby Valentine

  9. Delightfully written! Right on point!

  10. Cecil Walker says:

    Looks like I need to take a “look-see” at Dee’s site. We can never hear too much about God’s grace towards us for perhaps it will motivate us to be “grace-filled” towards others.

  11. Dee Andrews says:

    Bill –

    I cannot thank you enough for your marvelous and most gracious post on Grace Notes Friday and leaving it up for another day or so. It’s inspirational to me and brings much joy to my heart.

    We had a minister who’s presently in northeast Georgia “try out” for us here in Picayune yesterday morning and I was talking with him after worship. I brought up blogging, which he said he was just getting into and had found it fascinating. We talked about Mike Cope, who he went to Harding with, both undergrad and grad school and I gave him Mike’s web address. He then mentioned that he’d just heard about a blog called Grace Notes and asked me if I knew of it.

    I don’t know who was more amazed by our conversation, me or him, when I told him that not only did I know about Grace Notes, I was its creator! I tell you all this story to relate how far reaching our small efforts for God can reach. Far beyond our own feeble efforts or even comprehension.

    You all have deeply blessed and impacted my life by your own blogs and comments (especially you, Bill & Bobby) and I merely hope to be a facilitator for all our Grace Notes contributors in sharing God’s stories of goodness in this world among those who pass through our lives on a daily basis.

    Give God all the glory and the credit for He is the source of all good in our lives.

    Thank you, fellas. Thank you all and I hope Grace Notes will bless your lives from day to day as you keep reading the stories we all share there. Email me with your own Grace Notes stories from those you meet along the way or to share how you’ve been a grace notes person to someone else. THAT’S what it’s all about!

    Dee

  12. Kristine says:

    They say it takes twenty one days to create a new habit. I can’t say that I developed any good ones, yet…still working on that. But walking in faith, like a blind man, boy oh boy…you would not believe the things that have happened over a three week period. Piece meal. We lived for four days without lights and heat. And what did I find in the basement… hundreds of candles in babyfood jars. This was around the same time there was that big snow storm. We are in Kentucky. Anyway…choices that I have made because of who I am becoming, and how my family is at this time has placed me in a strange but wonderful position to learn and grow in God’s Love. Trusting was the first step. Daily is the hard part. Being quiet and standing still waiting for an answer is a tough one too. But I’ve done it several times. So I am learning how to listen and to be patient. Your prayers…please do not stop. I am moving to a shelter soon, perhaps early next week. My energy level is low but my spirits are good…and another friend prays for me as well…in his way. Answers arrive bit by bit, doors crack open, a bit of light is seen and when it is time for the right door toopen then I will walk through it with faith. I love on the words my grandmother left me…finish it, and remeber the mustard seed. I look forward to sharing my artistic abilities with women at this shelter…they even have their own art gallery. There is a certain freedom one obtains unintentionally when giving everything up…and I am looking forward to this.
    Again, thank you for your prayers.

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