It’s amazing how you can read something time and time again but all of a sudden, new life is brought to the text. This morning as I was reading through my online bible study book, Living So That, through Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study, I got to thinking about the POWER of grace in a whole new way. We all need more grace in our lives. The world could use more grace. Grace is such a simple concept yet it is powerful… And it is difficult for us to give.
In the book, Living So That, the author uses Jesus as an example to illustrate grace. While He was up on the cross with two criminals on either side of him, Jesus forgave one of them. HE FORGAVE HIM knowing that the man would have never studied the Bible, knowing that he would never bring another to the Lord, knowing that the man lived his life as a CRIMINAL… And yet, he was still forgiven. The grace Jesus gave to that man on the cross was undeserved. Jesus didn’t have to forgive the man, he could have just as easily condemned him. That man on the cross never did anything in his life to be deserving of grace… But, Jesus forgave him.
Wow. Such a powerful picture. It makes me thinking about all the times in my life that I could have given grace to someone… I could have FORGIVEN someone when I didn’t have to. I don’t know about you but I am not good at forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t come easily to me, especially when my feelings are hurt. When my emotional side takes a beating, I tend to hold onto that anger and hurt. I hold grudges. I hold grudges when I could have given grace. I could have free myself of that hurt and anger by instead giving grace. Sometimes I get down about sin. I get down about how much sin I see in the world. I get discouraged by the lack of grace in our world. And even in my own life when I stumble. But today Romans 5:20-21 spoke to me… It gave me a powerful reminder and promise about grace. And about how I shouldn’t be discouraged because of this promise the word makes to us.
Romans 5:20-21 says “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more. So that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
How beautiful is that? No matter how much sin there is, grace will always be increasing… “where sin increased, grace increased all the more”. Even though sometimes it may seem like sin is increasing, guess what, grace is increasing even more. Just as the criminal on the cross, we don’t deserve grace. Even after time and time again, we sin.. He gives us grace. By Christ and His righteousness, we are given greater privileges through grace than what we lost by the offense of sin. We are given a chance to start anew, every. single. time. Justisfied. Just as if we never sinned. Through grace.
Grace is simple. And my friends, it’s a hard thing to give. Sometimes we need reminders of the power of grace. A reminder of the power that grace can have on our lives when we chose it. So I hope that today, this week, and from now on… you choose grace. And that by choosing grace, your life will be blessed.
Can I get an AMEN!?