“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” – Ephesians 2:8-9.
Giving gifts at Christmas is not mandatory. There are no rules or compulsory laws that mandate that we give and receive gifts from our loved ones. We aren’t entitled to gifts, and we’re not entitled to the gift of righteousness. We deserve to die in our sins, but instead, God has provided a way for all people to become righteous before Him. Christ gave His life freely so that we may escape the penalty of sin. And the Lord didn’t do it all because He had to, but because He wanted to. That is grace.
Grace is defined as “unmerited favor.” You don’t have to do anything to earn it; you receive something you did not earn or deserve. Often, we think something free doesn’t have much value. But in this case, the gift of grace extended to us from God is extremely valuable. The apostle Paul said, “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Although grace is hard to understand, God means for us to have it and experience it. If you are a Christian, you have been gifted the perpetual gift and outpouring of grace because of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:4-5 says, “But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!).”
God’s grace is boundless. He offers forgiveness to the rebellious, freedom to sinners, and intimacy with Himself to all who trust Christ as Savior. When we stare at a huge problem or trauma blocking our path, God’s grace is the powerful force that pushes the obstacle out of the way. We aren’t powerful enough to do it, but God is. Accepting God’s grace allows us to put the past behind us.
But grace is more than just erasing the past; it is about writing the future. That’s because when freed from regret, blame, and shame, we can show grace to others in every situation. It’s the ultimate form of “paying it forward.” Only Jesus has already paid our tab.
Grace is about living in a relationship with God. The gifts God gives are about living in a relationship with Him. And that is the greatest gift of grace.
- What amazes you most about grace?
- How would the world be different without God’s grace? What are practical ways to let others know about God’s grace?
- How is grace best explained through a giver-receiver relationship?