Grace. What is it?

Tree in water

40 Days of Prayer: Day 25

It’s a word that most, if not all, of us have heard. It’s been called amazing and wonderful. Parents have even named their children after it. It’s something that can be given and received, but never taken. Simple and complex are words that fit comfortably in any converstation concerning it. It covers. It restores. It humbles but never humiliates. It strengthens. It gives life.

Many have studied it. Many more have discussed it. Many, many more have benefitted from it. Theologians debate it’s boundaries. Scholars wrestle with its complexities. How much of it is too much? Some people give it away like free candy. Others keep it for ransom. It’s been said that you can’t earn it. It’s also been said that you have to ask for it. It’s even been said that you can give it back if you decide you no longer want it. 

What is it? It’s grace. You knew that already if your read the title, but I like dragging things out. One popular definition of grace is unmerited favor. Man, that sure is a simple definition—only two words—for such a hotly debated topic. Let’s look at it a little more closely: 1) unmeritted – not earned, not deserved; 2) favor – approval, support, given preferential treatment. Okay, so those two words pack a pretty large punch. This definition seems to find its backing in Ephesians 2:8-9.

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

In these verses, Paul, the writer of Ephesians, says that grace does all the work so that no one can claim they did it themselves. At the same time, he says that we receive grace through faith. So even though we don’t earn it (unmerrited) it is given to us (favor) if we will accept it on faith. However, that falls short of the full expression of the power of grace.

Grace is not simply a “get out of hell free” card as some have called it. It’s more than a forgiveness band-aid or spiritual stain remover. Grace provides us strength to live a life of holiness (devoted to God). More than that, grace provides us a purpose in this life. Here is the next verse in Ephesians. 

10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Without grace we could not live out our God-given purpose. There is satisfaction in doing what we were made to do that can only be found through grace—the gift that keeps on giving.

Thank you for reading. Now, please go to our Prayer Wall and pray for the needs there. You may also add your own prayer requests or answered prayers there. 

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