You were made alive when you were dead in transgressions and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience; among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus; for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them. Â Â Â Â Ephesians 2:1-10 (WEB)
â€œGraceâ€ is one of those church words that brings beautiful, soft feelings to mind. I think too often we use a word and do not consider what the word really means. And so we miss the power of that word.
Paul was a Jew who took great pride in his knowledge and obedience to the Law. He knew the chains and the ultimate failure in trying to follow the Law. Given by God, it was the beginning of the relationship between God and His children. It was the Old Testament bridge to bring sinful children closer to their Holy Father God.
On the road to Damascus, Paul came into intimate contact with the answer to his heart question, â€œHow do I, a sinner, find a way to live in the presence of God?â€ Paul met Jesus and found the way â€“ â€œgraceâ€. Paul talked about grace in every letter. He brought the Word to every church in different packages but at the heart of every message was â€“ Godâ€™s grace.
â€œGraceâ€ is Godâ€™s love. It is Godâ€™s free gift of His love. Grace is love that has no conditions because if there was any condition â€“ I would not be able to receive the gift! Grace is given because God loved us first. I cannot brag that I turned to God first or that I became â€˜good enoughâ€™ to receive His love. God gave His love to me thousands of years before I was born. From the moment that Eve and Adam chose themselves before God, God chose to save me and everyone before me and everyone who comes after me. Godâ€™s love does not divide and become less with each child but instead multiplies to give the full measure of His love to each of His children.
It has been interesting in my own life and the lives of many I have met, that we have trouble accepting Godâ€™s grace. We continue to look at the love that we have experienced and determine that Godâ€™s unconditional love, grace, cannot be real. And if it is real, we cannot be worthy of such extravagance and so we turn away and live with a â€˜make doâ€™ attitude. We â€˜make doâ€™ on our own love. My love alone cannot withstand the â€˜bruises and lacerationsâ€™ that come with my life and its relationships. It is only with accepting Godâ€™s love that I find love that fills me and love that spills over to others.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Enough.