The old hymn "Amazing Grace" is a familiar church song for many, but I wonder if we really know how amazing God's grace actually is. It's such a common term in church or other religious settings that we can easily forget the value of grace in our lives.
Ephesians 2:8-9b (ESV) clearly reveals that we are saved—forgiven of our sins and granted eternal life—by grace through faith in Christ. "And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
This saving grace is a gift—not something we can earn, purchase or deserve. That in itself is amazing.
Also, Romans 5:8-10 says, "But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life."
Think about what these verses are saying. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Amazing! While we were enemies—before we even knew we needed Him or wanted His sacrifice on our behalf—Jesus willingly laid down His life for us so we could be reconciled to God and have a personal relationship with Him. Amazing!
Notice that verse 9 says "we have now been justified by his blood." This word "justified" means you are made "just as if you've never sinned." Amazing!
Here's something else I want you to think about: If while you were still an enemy of God—before you cared one iota about Jesus—He sent His Son to die for you, then you can be confident He wants you to become everything He's created you to be. God wants you to experience the amazing life He has planned for you!
And the way you live this life is by grace through faith.
Living in God's Grace
God's grace gives us everything we need to live a joy-filled life. Colossians 2:6 (AMP) says, "Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin]."
My personal definition of grace is this: God's power made available to us free of charge, enabling us to do with ease what we could never do on our own with any amount of struggle or effort. Learning to live with this power in everything I do has been radically life-changing!
When I first started teaching at conferences, I felt so much pressure to make everything happen the way I thought it should happen. I'd pray so hard and spend so much time getting prepared spiritually and through Bible study that I was practically exhausted before the event even started.
But when I discovered that God doesn't expect me to do it all, and that He is the only one who can change people's hearts, it took all that pressure off me. I was then free from the frustration of trying to accomplish something I couldn't do anyway and able to relax and enjoy doing my part of the process.
I do work hard, studying and preparing myself for each conference, but now I enjoy it because I realize what my responsibility is and what I must trust God to do. Philippians 4:13 (AMP) says, "I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose...]."
God is not just with us but in us, and He will do through us what needs to be done when we stop trying to do it ourselves and let Him work. Amazing!
Stay Plugged In
Experiencing the grace of God comes as we learn how to stay plugged in to our power source—our personal relationship with Him. "Plugging in" means we feed our spirit and soul by studying God's Word and spending time with Him in prayer.
It's critical for us to draw from the strength we have in Christ to live by God's grace every single day of our lives.
When you feel weak, don't let anything keep you from plugging in. Take a moment to pray, asking God for His strength. And remember to keep your focus on God's Word and His many promises to provide everything you need when you need it.
You don't have to live with frustration. Stop trying to succeed in your own effort and start trusting God for His grace in every area of your life. He knows what you need and what needs to change. And you can never ask for too much grace; it has no limit, so it will never run out!
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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