Grace is Enough
I frustrate my wife. I come by it naturally—after all, I am a man.
Men and women process things differently. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand the way the other one thinks and acts. I think I’m helping by putting some broken down boxes in the recycle bin. But they were on the table so Shirley could use them for a project. My “helping” didn’t help at all.
But the greatest thing of all is that we love each other, so we give grace. Every day. In big things and little things. If we cannot give grace, all relationships are destined for brokenness and end badly.
The God of the Bible is a God of holiness and grace.
God is holy—He has standards and we violate them all the time. God says, “You shall not bear false witness,” but we think a little white lie is okay when it keeps us out of trouble. If God’s character were only holiness, He would have been done with us long ago.
But God is also a God of grace. God loves us, and that means He forgives when we don’t deserve it and He remains when He would be justified in abandoning us. The Biblical concept of grace is unmerited favor. God is for us, even when we don’t deserve it by our own merit or actions.
So God acts toward us with grace to draw us to Himself when we are far from Him, wrapped up in the selfishness of our own lives. My parents were Christmas and Easter Christians when I was growing up, but they had my sisters and me baptized when we were children. When I was a young teenager I attended Confirmation Class, and I began to want to know God for myself. Then He put a young woman named Shirley in my life who was on fire for Him, and used her to bring me to Jesus. He drew me to Himself by grace.
One weekend our youth group had a special speaker for a weekend Youth Revival. I gladly attended the services because God was drawing me to Himself, and because Shirley was there! For the first time, I really heard the truth that God wanted a relationship with me, and if I opened the door of my heart, He would come in and forgive my sins. I resisted making a commitment to Christ in the worship service. Then that night, as I was going to bed, I knelt in the darkness of my bedroom and asked to have what that man talked about. I asked Jesus to come into my life. Immediately I felt peace like I had never known. I knew I was forgiven. Grace forgave me.
Since that night when I was 15 years old and asked Jesus into my heart, God has been graciously working on my life to make me more like Jesus. Grace transforms us. Grace refuses to leave us in our selfish, ungodly ways. Grace roots sin out of our lives and enables us to love like Jesus loves. By grace my wild temper was tamed. By grace my selfishness gave way to a call to love and serve others. By grace God called me to the specific ministry of being a Pastor. And by grace He has used me to show others the way to Jesus and new life. Grace transforms.
I have come to the place where I know His grace is sufficient. The grace of Jesus Christ does not depend on blessings. If I never received another blessing from God as long as I live, I would still owe Him thanks for the grace I have already received. If God calls me to sacrifice and difficulty, His grace is enough. He will never abandon me.
Because God is a God of holiness and grace. And that’s more than enough for me.