So many things swirl in my mind – song lyrics… Scriptures… a prayer over a meal… a definition memorized in my theology class for college…
A quick word search of the Bible showed “grace” 159 times. (Thankful for Biblegateway!) Browsing through the results, many Old Testament references pertained to the grace of another person. “If I have found grace in your eyes…”
Moving into the New Testament, I began to see the thread of God’s Grace.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
The Oxford Dictionary defines it this way:
As Christians, we often think of Grace as that second definition – “the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.” And it is! That alone should compel us to live lives of gratitude and celebration! But there’s more!
When you read over the definition, the first one seems more natural or earthly, yet I believe it contains another treasured blessing from the Lord. Without minimizing the overwhelming beauty of God’s Grace for salvation, tonight I’d like to focus on His Grace for today, to have “simple elegance and refinement of movement.”
Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
When you read the words “simple elegance” or “refinement of movement,” what comes to mind? A ballerina perhaps? A skilled artist? They embody grace, as we usually think of it.
As I think of Grace from the Lord for daily living, I think of the dark days. I think of seasons of doubt, depression or sorrow, where I desperately need God’s help for survival, with no thought for “simple elegance” or “refinement of movement!”
Yet, when we look to Christ to sustain and strengthen us, an amazing thing happens. There is a change, or “refinement,” of natural movement. We begin to think differently, respond differently, speak differently in our challenging situations. It is only through the Grace of God this is possible.
The Lord has made His Grace available to us for countless reasons, every day, including –
- Grace to choose to live rightly (James 4:6);
- Grace in our words, seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6);
- Grace to become who we are instead of who we were (1 Corinthians 15:10);
- Grace to walk in the gifts He has given (Ephesians 4:7);
- Grace to excel in every good work (2 Corithians 9:8); and
- Grace to strengthen us (2 Timothy 2:1).
In the same way that a skilled dancer or artist grabs your attention, God’s Grace in the life of a believer captures the notice of those around them. Not to say it’s easy, but God’s Grace sustains us, and spills over into our relationships, in creative and unexpected ways.
Best of all, this Grace is sufficient. It’s enough; it’s adequate. You’re not, but He, in you, is. Regardless of what you’re facing, regardless of where you’ve been and with whom, His grace is sufficient for you. Today. Tomorrow. The day after that and the day after that. And even when you are at your weakest, that is when His strength is made perfect.