God’s Grace — His supernatural, surpassing, superabounding grace is available for us all. Today, is a day of grace.
The local news channel told how a venomous snake hitched a ride several hundred miles in the undercarriage of a Ferrari. The Northern Pacific Rattlesnake ranks as the most venomous snake in the regions. After the Ferrari was parked back in the showroom, the snake decided to explore its new surroundings.
Can you imagine the shock of the employees when they returned the next morning? Yikes!
Veterinarians returned the snake to its rightful habitat, employees resumed showroom routines, and all ended without incident. The account started me thinking about what might be riding along unnoticed in the undercarriage of my life. Would people be shocked if they knew?
I know of few “rattlers” like insecurity, pride, unforgiveness, and critical judgment that slither up in unwelcome fashion at unpredictable times. Hopefully other useful attributes like confidence, humility, diligence, graciousness, and mercy slide out from hiding as well.
Without exaggeration, I hate snakes! I also hate the sin and its ugly components which incessantly slither through the undercurrents of life. But God’s grace surpasses and superabounds over it all!
This morning I read this encouraging passage from the Amplified Bible:
“But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and surperabounded.”
However great sin becomes, grace surpasses, increases, and superabounds more. Praise the Lord!
As Paul writes to the Roman church, he quickly shines the spotlight on what everyone desperately tried to ignore.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
In fact, Paul went into great detail to demonstrate how prolific sin reigns. He clearly states no person, nor any group of people, stands clear of indictment. No one meets God’s standard. Paul doesn’t end the conversation there, however. He immediately offers hope — the single but sturdy thread of hope found in Jesus Christ.
Listen to the whole passage:
“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
As we honestly look at ourselves, we recognize we possess no righteousness of our own. Yet for those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, God declares them righteous because of what He has, not we have, done.
To be righteous simply means to be in right standing with God. Apart from Jesus, it is impossible. In Him, righteousness becomes completely possible!
Someone once explained “justified” as being “just as if I had never sinned.” The definition may not form a complete understanding, but it captures the essence.
God desires us all to experience His righteousness.
“The fruit of that righteousness will be peace: its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.”
Nobody merits God’s righteousness through a good life filled with good deeds. Matthew encourages us to prioritize seeking God’s righteousness.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”
By God’s grace, He extends righteousness to us through Jesus Christ.
Though God’s grace stands available “to all,” not “all” will receive it. Not everyone will acknowledge their need of God’s grace. Sadly, not everyone seeks it.
The Amplified Bible calls God’s grace “unmerited favor.” Other definitions include God’s life, power, and righteousness given by unmerited favor. Grace is translated from the Hebrew word chanan or the Greek word charis. It means “a state of kindness and favor toward someone, often with a focus on a benefit given.” Even here the definition falls short unless we also consider the inclusion of God’s love and mercy.
We call it God’s grace because grace is not just what He does, but who God is. God is gracious!
“The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all: he has compassion on all he has made.”
Out of the overlow of God’s goodness, He extends His grace and compassion “to all he has made.”
Paul explains that God’s grace flows through the channel of faith — faith in Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection.
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
We access God’s grace through a verbal declaration of faith in Jesus Christ that honestly professes the belief of our heart. It is a simple but profound transition that I certainly don’t fully understand and cannot fully explain — a supernatural transition of God’s overflowing, superabounding mercy, love, and goodness.
Maybe you have received this transition of God’s grace into your life decades ago. Perhaps, you first experienced it only yesterday! It doesn’t matter. Let’s thank Him for doing for, and in, us what we could never do for ourselves. The deadly snakes that once road on our “undercarriage” hide no more. God’s grace has come.
Perhaps this is new to you. If so, simply tell God in your own words what is stirring within your heart. Seek His grace by declaring your faith in Jesus Christ, even right now. We don’t need fancy words or scripted prayer. Just honestly tell God your desire to know His grace personally.
As we appreciate and enjoy God’s grace, it will transform our lives!