Grace that Is Greater

November 16, 2011

Listening to: Hey, Soul Sister by Train
Thinking: how cute balloons look all puffed up and floating in the sky.


Grace. No, I'm not talking about grace as in being "graceful", but that of God's grace. For the past few Sunday's my dad has been going through the book of Galatians. Before venturing into the letters of Paul, I honestly didn't realize how much God has given us, and how free we are under grace. 

The Bible, in general, is very deep, intricate, and though provoking. What's funny is that God never intended the Bible to be such a controversial book. In fact, God plainly states that He is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). And yet, that's what it has become. The Bible has become a confusing conglomeration of unsound theologies and doctrines; this is because people have twisted the Word of God. It's jaw dropping that when some dig deep into the Word, they end up digging too deep, or in the wrong place. Taking the Bible for what it says rather than what it doesn't or "should" allows us to experience Him freely, rather than be bound to the things that keep us from experiencing the freedom God has allowed us to be a part of.

Anyhow, in my dad's Bible study on Galatians, we've been digging deep into the meaning of grace. {Note that sometimes digging deep into the Word is a good thing when done for the right reasons (i.e., to fellowship with God, understand His purpose, and learn). But when we do it for ungodly reasons, that's when it becomes a problems and can lead to confusion and doubt}. Galatians is such a focused book, but there are a lot of controversies surrounding the subjects dwelling within it as well. Like I said, people like to miscue the Word, which creates confusion!

A lot of what we've been going through in Galatians has resounded in my heart like an atomic bomb. It's become so real to me-the love of Jesus Christ, His grace and mercy, our identity in Him; and that the Christian life and God's grace is not secured by personal works (Ephesians 2:9)


Amazingly, God works is ways that I cannot describe, but would be the first to testify. His love is penetrating, deep, everlasting and thirst quenching. In the past few months God has been taking my paper heart, molding and teaching it how to fly. From a two dimensional girl, He's transforming me into someone who's more real than I could ever imagine. My heart is so full of hope and faith in His good works that it hurts, and it feels that it should burst!


Grace is such a small word. Only five letters to be exact. But residing in that small, humble word is an intoxicating love and gift from our God. Don't discredit this little word; it packs a powerful, awe-inspiring punch. My dad said that the meaning of grace is to "describe an act that goes beyond the ordinary course of what might be expected, but was done for those who were friends." What he means is that the Maker of the Stars loved us so dearly that He went beyond the call of duty to bring to His enemies [us] reconciliation and salvation through His life (Romans 5:10)!


Just thinking about how God chooses to give us this gift of grace without expecting a thing in return makes me shiver. Unable to pay attention to anything around me, I ponder the question "Why?" as tears sting my reddening eyes and trickle off my eyelashes. This question is easily answered: because He loves me. God's motives are not to prove that we are incapable of ever upholding the law and being sinless. His only motive is for us to experience His overflowing river of love and grace; and to come back to the Father when we are weak.


A while back my dad mentioned that "God's unlimited love is expressed in measureless grace" (I John 3:1). What exuberant love God chose to bestow upon us as He died on Calvary's cross! The ability to rejoice and bask in the love and grace of God, without ever deserving it, is truly a blessing. What a God we serve; that He would love us to the ends of the earth, even to death on the cross.


In my dad's Sunday school lesson he asked, or stated, this question to the class: “What manner of love?”, which in the Greek means “what foreign kind of love?".  I thought it of course to be very thought provoking, and so I asked my own variation of the question above: "What Love Is This?" The love God displayed at the cross is a foreign concept to us, because as selfish human beings, it's the furthest thing from our mind. That God would give up His son Jesus Christ to die a sinners death is a characteristic that we, as humans, cannot duplicate. Our simple minds cannot begin to grasp the significance of such a sacrifice, let alone accept it without questioning. According to my dad, "the substitutionary atonement never came from the mind of man, but from the heart of God", and this is why, as dad put it, that "God's action at the cross was extraordinary beyond measure and was praiseworthy and thank-worthy." 


This means there is no room for good works on the part of the sinner whereby he could ever earn salvation, and there is no room for good works whereby one can retain salvation. (Wuest).

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