Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” 

How might your life be different if you knew that you knew that you knew to the core of your being that God is for you and not against you? There are worse things you could spend your mental energy on than answering that question.

So much of the New Testament is written to convey this very message. Every place where the Bible talks about God’s grace, the message is the same: GOD IS FOR YOU

I want to challenge you to try something. As you are doing your devotionals and are into God’s word, every time you come to the word grace I want you to take a minute and intentionally translate it: GRACE = GOD IS FOR ME.

What is so amazing about the grace the Bible speaks about is its application to your life is not dependent on you. A system where God’s favor depends on your behavior is described in the Bible as a system of Law. 

Here is how Paul talks about the difference between Law and Grace in Romans 3:21-25&28

“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. . . For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.”

Notice the words I highlighted. Righteousness is given (by grace) as opposed to earned. We are justified (made just) freely (not earned) by his grace. 

So in a very real sense, our job is not to earn God’s favor, at least in the sense that somehow if we can be good enough God will love us more. That is an impossible task. Rather our job is to cooperate with God’s grace which is already available to us because of who God is.  

Here is some of what grace covers. Imperfections, inconsistency, wrong beliefs, doubts, stubbornness, unresolved trauma, unhealthy coping mechanisms, lack of faith, disobedience, open rebellion, anxiety, fear, stupidity, short-sightedness, and overall selfishness. 

God is for you.

The point of grace isn’t to excuse everything negative thing you do and make everything perpetually okay. To take the attitude that nothing we do matters because God’s grace will cover it is to cheapen grace and completely miss its primary purpose in our lives. 

The point of grace is to give us imperfect people a foundation of love and acceptance that will enable us to grow into the people God intended us to be. To “take off the old and put on the new” as Ephesians tell us. Because while God is a God who gives grace freely he is also a God who gives truth, who prunes and disciplines us, and who calls us to transformation into the character of Christ from the inside out. God gives grace but holds you responsible for how you respond to the grace that is offered. This makes sense because how you respond to God is up to you. 

So how might your life be different if you appropriated, integrated, and trusted the grace freely given to you as a platform from which to grow? God’s grace truly is amazing. 

Yours in the Journey. . .Pastor Tim