What's the Big Deal About Grace?

Doug Story

"For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.  And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and was raised again."  II Corinthians 5:14-15

A few weeks ago, my family and I were doing our grocery shopping.  We were getting ready to check out.  We pull up to the line.  On this day, we were serious shoppers.  It was one of our super coupon outings so we had two carts and a lot of things to purchase - and a lot of money to save.  We are sitting in line and a woman comes up behind us and has only a few things.  My wife tells her to go ahead of us.  She does and as she collects her groceries and begins to walk out of the store, she says to us, "thanks for being so gracious."

I didn't think too much about it.  I don't know if it was grace that was leading our decisions, but it got me to thinking about grace.  What really is the big deal about grace?  What does it look like?  I needed to look no further than what Paul said in 2 Corinthians Chapter 5.  Paul reminds us what grace really looks like in light of the cross.  Christ died for us in grace and because of that act of grace, we should respond.  In fact, our lives should never be the same.

When it comes to grace, there are a few things that we need to remember.

1.  Grace is unmerited favor.  As a concise definition of grace, this serves well.  It is undeserved on the part of the recipient.  It is unearned and unearnable.

2.  Grace is not cheap.  It is free to the recipient, but costly to the donor.  In his book, The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer puts it this way.  "Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves.  Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession.  Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.  Costly grace...is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble, it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple "leaves his nets and follows Him."  Costly grace is a big deal.  God's grace for us is NOT cheap.

3.  Grace that is received changes one's life and behavior.  When we grasp a hold of the depths of God's grace, we will live an irresistible, grace-filled life.  Our life is never the same.  God is our everything.  Our life.  Our hope.  Our grace.  Our love.  His embrace is grace.  Breathing is grace.  Walking with Him is grace.  Praying to Him is grace.  Everything we have is His grace.

Grace is a big deal.  As followers of Christ, we should remember just how big it really is.  It is such a big deal that it inevitably changes every single aspect of our lives.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the grace You have for us each day.  Thank you for the grace You showed us on the cross.  Help us to live in light of that grace, a changed life, no longer living for ourselves, but for You each day.  Amen.

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