God’s grace is best gift we will ever receive

Published 5:44 pm Saturday, May 21, 2016

By Larry Stover
Stover lives in Valley Grande and is pastor at Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene

Has it ever occurred to you how God’s grace is so risky on his part? No matter how many times we are recipients of his unmerited favor, we can walk away from his grace and pretend like he doesn’t even exist.

Grace is at work in our everyday life. Think about baseball for a minute. Imagine that you and your children are playing ball in your backyard. One of your children hit a baseball through your neighbor’s window. Now, you have to go next door and apologize. If your neighbor applies only “justice” they might respond by saying, “I’m going to hire the most expensive contractor in the city to fix this and you are going to pay for it.” Responding with “mercy” might get you off with a little less then you deserve. That same neighbor might say, “If you will pay for the materials and replace the window, all will be fine.” Finally, there is the grace response, “I really enjoy watching you all play baseball in your backyard. I’ll forget it this time.”

Responding with “justice” doesn’t mean that your neighbor is a bad person; they are just giving you what you deserve. With “mercy,” they are giving you a little less than what you deserve. But “grace” sets you free.

Let’s examine God’s grace. Psalm 103:8 tells us, “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” Many people have the idea that God spends all of his time dangling us over the pit of hell watching us suffer. They miss the point! God is not consumed with anger. Rather, he reaches out to us in love, mercy, and grace, hoping that we will enter into a relationship with him that will allow the Holy Spirit to bless us beyond anything that we can ever imagine.

The grace of God is most evident in our conversion. Ephesians 2:8-9 tell us, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”  Understanding God’s grace is the most powerful experience you will ever know as a Christian.

Romans 6:23 sets the stage; “The wages of sin is death.” Ever since the Garden of Eden, people have been disobeying God. If it were left to the “justice” of God we would be obliterated on the spot. It’s what we deserve. Our rebellious spirit that violates the holiness of God deserves death.

But, we have hope in Psalm 103:110, “He has not dealt with us according to our sins.” Because God is merciful, we get a lot less than we deserve.

Here comes “grace!” It is that outrageous blessing He pours out on his creation.  It’s almost too good to be true. From a human perspective, it’s appears to be outrageous, irrational, and even risky.

What if I turn around and sin again? What if I turn my back on him? What if I choose to walk away from the greatest gift in the world? God is willing to take that chance.

When grace hits you like a spiritual explosion, it will change you forever. Do you need a “grace explosion” in your life right now? It could be the most life-changing event you have ever experienced.  God is not out to destroy you; he wants to help you succeed in everything that you do.

He has great plans for your life. His grace is the most awesome gift you will ever receive. It goes beyond the forgiveness of sins and touches every aspect of your life. As it reaches to every corner of your life it will make it all “Simply Beautiful.”