It’s Sunday morning, about 11:00. My daughter has a double ear infection, which means we are home instead of at church. It feels weird. But, it does give me time to sit down and write out this second installation of the Grace Series. Today we’re going to talk about how grace is, by its very nature, a relational concept. It exists only between people, never alone. It’s like love, which must be shared to be true and genuine. It benefits others by its very existence.
Let’s think about the ways we use the concept of grace:
“My, she’s graceful,” we say about a ballerina or a gymnast.
“He handled his troubles graciously,” we say when a man handled difficulty well.
“By God’s grace, I didn’t flunk that test,” we say when we take a math test. I mean, probably. I know I flunked my fair share of math tests even with God’s grace. It’s neither my fault, nor God’s, that math makes no sense.
Anyway, I have digressed from my topic. Each of those examples above shows grace benefiting others. A ballerina may be the most beautiful dancer on the planet, but what good is it if no one ever sees her dance? Her gracefulness is at its most gracious when others benefit from the beauty. When a man handles a crisis with grace, we benefit from seeing his good example. We learn how to handle our own problems better, hopefully. We relax a bit, knowing that there are other people in the world who are trying to make excellent, well-thought out decisions.
Scripturally, we see the same about God’s grace. It exists for our benefit! He shares his overflowing favor with us to bring about His good pleasure.
- 1 Corinthians 15:10 says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
Paul says that it was God’s grace that allows him to be the Christ-follower and preacher he was. Did he work hard? Yes! But without God’s favor blessing him, his work would have been for naught.
- Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”
The benefits we receive! Redemption and forgiveness lavished upon us!
- Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
And now we have found where the rubber meets the road, friends. It’s also our responsibility to be full of grace. Even our conversation needs to benefit others. Are we doing anyone any good when we speak? When we act?
I’ll leave with that thought today. Are we extending grace to others? I pray we are. I pray that God’s grace is coming through us to bless others as we have been blessed.
Grace and peace to you!