Grace is a concept we often have a hard time embracing. There are times when we find it difficult to extend grace to others and times when we find it difficult to receive grace for ourselves.
God’s Word defines Grace as unmerited favor. In other words, grace is the approval, regard, or preference shown to someone when they don’t deserve it. God expresses Grace through His abundant love, mercy, and gift of salvation.The Greek word in the New Testament, translated as grace, is the word charis, which commonly means “divine favor” or “goodwill.” But charis can also mean, “that which gives joy” and “that which is a free gift.” I love the fact that the word charis is also translated into these two phrases because God’s grace is a “free gift” and does “give joy,” when we choose to embrace it!
For me, it was many years after praying to receive Christ before was able to fully understand and embrace God’s Grace. At salvation, I simply embraced my need for a savior along with the reality that Christ was the savior I needed. And, although Christ had accepted me, I still had a hard time embracing the fact that I didn’t have to earn His acceptance. My “Eternal” judge had come to live in my heart and had just covered my sin and shame, but my “Internal” judge was still working overtime to convince me that my sin and shame were still a part of who I was.
When I talk about my “Internal” judge, I am referring to the voice in my mind that strives to maintain a constant overflow of messages of shame, condemnation, guilt, and unworthiness. Twenty years after my salvation experience, I was introduced to the in-depth study of God’s Word, something I advocate for every believer at every stage in our walk with the Lord. We are never going to come to a point in our lives when we know it all and can’t gain strength, wisdom, and greater understanding through our study of God’s Word.The more I put Truth in, the quieter my “Internal” judge becomes. The more I embrace messages like:
- I am a new creation in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13)
- God chose me before the foundation of the earth to be holy and blameless. (Ephesians 1:4)
- Because I have confessed my sin, He has forgiven me and cleansed me from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
…the easier it is for me to embrace the fullness of God’s grace.
God freely and abundantly offers grace. It’s just up to us to receive it, embrace it, and encourage others to embrace it as well.
Join me today in embracing the reality that God’s grace is not contingent on our ability to earn it. Instead, “while we were yet still sinners, Christ died for us” and reconciled us to a right relationship with God the Father (Romans 5:6-11). Together — let’s Embrace Grace!
“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Eugene E. Carpenter and Philip W. Comfort, Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew Words Defined and Explained(Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 295.