“Bill, when I look at you I marvel at the grace of God.” Now, that phrase could be taken in a couple of different ways. It could mean “you were such a mess that only God could help you,” or it could mean “God’s grace is so wonderful that it has changed your life completely around.” Both are true. Let me add that it is true of everyone who have experienced His grace.
The theological definition of the grace of God is His unmerited favour accredited to us. One who was lost because of the blindness of sin, who was on the road to perdition, and who was completely without merit to receive grace. As a guilty criminal who finds that on the day of his sentencing that his crime has been paid for, his criminal record cleared and walks away as if he never committed a crime. That is grace.
Grace found me when I was a grade 12 high school student who thought that life was all about sports and drinking. I was your average teenager who did not understand or even care about spiritual things until grace found me. It found me when I began to realize that life was more than drinking buddies and hockey games. Grace found me while I lived in a super dysfunctional home with a domineering Mom and a Father who had walked away from God as a young man. Grace found me when I finally understood that in light of Christ’s death and resurrection I was responsible to decide to accept His Grace! I could not pin the blame on my parent’s for not providing the right home environment, or my schools for not providing me the kinds of friends who would encourage me to search for God. I was at fault and I was in need of grace.
Grace, in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, has had and continues to have a profound impact on my life. Because of grace I have the motivation that I need to get up every morning and face the challenges that God puts in front of me. Because of grace I see those around me who are in deep and urgent need of her. I understand the theological/biblical argument of why people need grace, that grace that is so drastically and clearly illustrated when Christ faced the wrath of God that I deserved. As much as I understand that argument, it is because I have experienced the truth of grace that I desire so much for each person to experience it as well! To live without guilt because Christ died for our guilt, to live with purpose and conviction that God’s plan includes me is so liberating that it motivates me for every day that I live!
Those of us who have experienced grace at times forget what it was like to live without it. Like, those who get up every morning and try and get through the day by their own strength. Or, those who have convinced themselves that life is all about what one touches and sees and life is over when the heart stops beating. Those who so live without grace need to see in us who have experienced grace models of gracefulness. We, who have experienced the liberating power of Christ through faith in His death, burial and resurrection, must imitate our Father in heaven. We were where they are now, let us be instruments of grace!
After all these years, I marvel at the truth that God’s grace reached even me! I will be eternally grateful. You?
Wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it, where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden, setting my spirit free,
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me!
Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All-sufficient grace for even me;
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame;
O magnify the precious name of Jesus, praise His name!