God rains down grace on all mankind. He gave us the beauty and wonders of nature that we see each and every day. He gives us near misses when accidents are heading our way. He often brings us the right thing just in time. And He also gave us an innate conscience to know right from wrong. All these things are common graces, and everyone born on the earth has the benefit of them because God so loved the world.
Before I believed in the Lord, God wooed me with these kinds of graces: beautiful sunrises and sunsets, relaxing moments surrounded by God’s glorious creation in nature, fun, laughter, and camaraderie with friends. He also lured me with thoughts that there is something more in life, something beyond the simple notion that life is good.
Just being born on this planet includes many benefits. Oh, but when I became a believer in Christ, I got even more graceful benefits! In fact, believers are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm because we are united with Christ.
The best grace is that God purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave all our sins. This immeasurable gift was given to you when you believed. You didn’t work for it and you didn’t even deserve it. If He stopped there it would have been enough, but He continues to give us even more grace, kindness, wisdom, and understanding. What an awesome God! For He so loved the world that He gave His only Son.
“Be still (cease striving) and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10).
I have sinned, I sin, and I will sin. I always seem to do what I don’t want to do and not do what I want to do, even though I want to do right all the time. Yet God will forgive me each time if I repent. All sins — past, present, and future — are forgiven after you believe in Christ.
Sin comes naturally but righteousness takes focus. Focus on obeying God’s Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to help. On my own, I seem to always say or do the wrong thing. But, when I confess each sin, try and learn from it, and change my way of thinking, the Lord forgives me. Not just every now and then but all the time. There is much more grace than I have sin.
Not only are all of my sins forgiven when I repent but I also gain a supernatural ability to forgive others of offenses they commit. God helps me to forgive little offenses, big offenses, and even previously unforgivable ones.
I have learned that forgiveness is possible even when the offense caused extreme hurt. There are examples of people forgiving other people of murder. Jesus, Himself, said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” from the cross! This kind of forgiving grace doesn’t take away from the depravity of the offense, but it does provide an atmosphere where the offender can repent if he chooses.
Forgiving grace requires the strength of God because when I’m left to my own thoughts, revenge and/or depression are at the forefront of my mind. Forgiveness is usually a God-ordained thought.
Each morning I have the glorious chance to begin again. If I made mistakes yesterday, I can start over with a clean slate. Every new day, hour, and breath is a chance for me to act better and display more of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Because of His presence within me, I always have new opportunities to think and do better.
Instead of thinking only of me, I can show concern for others. Instead of being full of anxiety, I can be full of peace and joy. Instead of tapping my foot, I can wait with patience. God’s grace gives me the self-control to act with kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness.
Grace gives me the freedom to forget about other people’s opinions. I can learn to be the person that God created me to be before the lies of this world attached themselves to me. I don’t need to impress other people. I just need to be faithful to the One who created me, and He already loves me, so I have nothing to prove.
I am free to be me. I am fearfully and wonderfully made with a purposeful design. Getting to know God through His Word helps me to know my purpose in life. And when I know it, I can go ahead and live it. If the Son sets me free, I am truly free (John 8:36).
God promised to be with me at all times. His Holy Spirit will counsel me and prompt me as I go through my days. He is with me in each present moment and those moments lead to a glorious future. Even when I go through trials, and I will, He is there to help me get through them and make the environment around me better. Jesus even said that here on earth I will have many trials and sorrows. But I can take heart, because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). The unknown is easier to go through when you have a hand to hold. That’s grace—the feeling that I’m never alone.
Always remember that grace is a gift. You can’t earn it, but you get a lot of it. It’s free and abundant. When you go to God in heartfelt prayer, He will always give you what you need. Forget about worrying about getting what you deserve. Grace is getting much more than you deserve.
“You parents — if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:9-11)
Photo credit: Thinkstock/Arrangements Photography
Jennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk. Her debut novel is available on Amazon. She lives near Atlanta, Ga. with her husband. Visit her at her websiteand/or on Facebook.