“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not that of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast,” Ephesians 2:8-9
“I don’t deserve it, but Lord I thank You! I didn’t do anything to earn it, but again, Lord I thank You!” That’s the feeling the word grace evokes in me. It’s like walking on the clouds of heaven while here on earth; experiencing release and freedom in all that Christ has secured for me.
Grace is personal. Though Christ died for all, it has to touch each one on an intimate level. It takes hold of and absorbs in the spirit of man, this wonderful gift of God. It allows the one who follows after it to get a glimpse of what it truly may be like in heaven when all the shackles of this earthly bondage are removed. It is ours, personally and individually, to experience for them that are found in Him.
Isn’t it wonderful – this gift of His? Isn’t it magnificent that no matter our status in life or how hard we work it can never be earned? It can never be put in our repertoire of attainments to salvation. It is a gift!
Gifts are meant to be received. On a number of occasions my husband and even my children have tried to give me something out of the blue. While I am very grateful for the consideration that they want to give me something, I often wind up doing a lot of questioning trying to ascertain the reason for them wanting to give it in the first place. I want to know what I did to deserve it. “Oh, you don’t have to go through such lengths. And, yada, yada, yada . . .” In turn, what was a thoughtful expression is now tainted by frustration in the giver. They become frustrated with me for doing so much questioning instead of just receiving; for implying the only reason I am worthy is become of some work I must have done for them.
Human perception of this kind of outpouring of love has been marred by this sinful world. In it dwells the attitude of “if you do for me, then I’ll do for you.” “If you scratch my back, then I’ll scratch yours.” It is hard for one to believe in a motivation of pure love; to believe that one would give just because they love.
Paul laid the truth out for us. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespass and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lust of our flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others,” (Ephesians 2:1-3). We were “by nature children of wrath.” In other words, we were no good, no goods who deserved absolutely nothing.
Verse 4 steps in and shows the love of God at work. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.” He didn’t do it for us because of some great checklist we marked off as job complete, now I deserve this. His love gave us the gift to receive, “Not of works, lest any man should boast,” (vs. 9). “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus,” (vs. 7).
This is one of those lessons that you really have to let the Word speak for itself, lest mankind try to put their own spin on it. God loves us! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16). When we accept that love and are saved through Christ, then we have an opened door to accept the gift of grace along with it. I depend on His grace daily! I choose to “WALK IN GRACE” today. It’s a choice. Read the entire chapter 2 of Ephesians. See what you were and what He has made you now. See where you were, and now where He wants to take you. Compare what you did to what He has done for you. Now, CELEBRATE! AND, WALK IN THE GRACE HE GIVES.