Imagine when you were inconsiderate or cruel to someone. Come on — we’ve all been there. Now imagine that person lovingly presenting you with a beautiful gift. This is like God, through Jesus, offering you His gift of grace.
In the New Testament, grace means God’s love in action towards men who merited the opposite of love. Grace means God moving heaven and earth to save sinners who could not lift a finger to save themselves.J. I. Packer
This is how I see grace. Hard as I try, I can’t escape my sinful nature. Yet God still loves me. He sent Jesus to stand in for me through the punishment phase I deserve. I don’t earn my reprieve. I never could, no matter how many good deeds I do. Only Jesus led a sinless life. As I see my bad and accept Christ, I receive God’s grace. Of course, I still have to deal with the earthly consequences of my actions, but through the blood of Jesus, I am right with God.
Lee Strobel, atheist-turned-Christian, award-winning journalist, and best-selling author, wrote one of the best books I have read on this subject. In The Case for Grace, Lee defines God’s grace through the stories of transformed lives. People change by not only receiving God’s grace, but also receiving grace from people around them.
During this season of gift giving, I hope you will be open to receive God’s wonderful gift of grace, as well as extending it to every person you see.
But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.Romans 3:21-24 MSG