Saturday, May 24, 2008

Grace

(Jana Rahrig)

I’m choosing grace as a topic of discussion because it’s so controversial. I’ve only just begun my studies on the topic so I’m excited to read your thoughts on the subject as well.

God is the originator of all good things, including grace. His laws and decrees outline grace in the Old Testament but His Son becomes a living example of it in the New Testament. But, before I started to focus my mind on the topic of grace, I understood it to be something they had centuries ago; and not something we experience today. Grace is not often heard of today. In today’s world, the word grace is used to describe a dancer or a running gazelle, but not something you extend to another as an undeserved gift as described in the bible. According to the word grace’s usage in the Bible, throughout the New Testament, grace is extended as greeting and blessing to all. Examples of this include Paul’s letters to the Ephesians, Galatians, Colossians, Philippians, Thessalonians, etc. – grace abounds! In Paul’s day, grace is used as interchangeably and commonly as Aloha is in Hawaii! But, now-a-days, how often do you greet people on the street with greetings of grace and blessings or a wish of grace and peace to a friend at a day’s end. Today, we fall from grace—we sing of Amazing Grace, but we never wish a greeting or salutation of grace to another. In today’s world, we don’t understand what that means.

When I first started studying grace more in depth, I tried to add the word into my daily speech patterns. I peppered my sentences with the word “grace,” e.g., “That cashier extended me grace, “ or “Grace and Blessings to you, my friend,” as a warm-wish or good-bye. The reactions I received in response were hilarious and disdainful. “Why, whatever do you mean,” offered one acquaintance. Another joshed, “I certainly don’t have grace and for the most part, neither do you!” But yet, the most precious of responses were the facial expressions I received when I extended a greeting of grace. They cringed at the word as if to mimic drinking poison or stubbing a toe. No, grace is not a common part of today’s culture. So, since we don’t use the word, we, for the most part, don’t really understand what it is. And if we don’t understand what it is, we’re either not accepting it’s properties when received as a gift nor are we gifting it to others. It’s almost a lost, fine art that has died out from generation to generation because it was not taught as part of our heritage or included as part of our traditions.

Also in today’s “Me-Society,” especially, in our American culture, it is more acceptable to be in it for ourselves—“Win at all Cost,” “No Pain, no Gain.” To show grace to another would involve humility and equality. And who needs humility and equality in a society that is all about “me.” We are very concerned foremost out about our rights, our comfort and our needs!

This is where you come in. What do you think? What does grace mean to you? Do you live a grace-filled life, freely extending it to others? Have you ever had grace withheld from you? What are your thoughts? I would like to discuss this with you. Just tell me, how do you feel about grace?

4 comments:

Scott R. Davis said...

Grace is an important topic. It is what has brought us into a relationship with Jesus. He extended his arms to us and as a tradition for groups that celebrate Jesus, they raise their hands locked in unison singing that famous song, Amazing Grace. As the song states, so sweet the sound.

Yet for grace to be a reality , God paid an enormous price through His son, Jesus on the cross. Just as Abraham was willing to pay the price with his son, Isaac , at the altar he built before God.

Grace is God's riches at Christ's expense. Yet, it is sometimes hard to be thought of as being bought. but we are not bought into slavery but into freedom. God offers us much more than the world offers, but we can not always see it. The world offers us pleasure; we may get it for a moment, but it is fleeting. For His peace and Grace is eternal. marked by the nailprints to His Hands.

Sister Cindy said...

The dictionary says that Grace is the "freely given, unmerrited favor and love of God". He gives us his grace everyday--regardless of who we are or what we do. I used to get grace and mercey mixed up--until I realized the real meaning of 2 Cor. 12:9--"My grace is sufficient for you...." His grace--His LOVE and FAVOR--are sufficient for me. That's all I need. I love having his mercy--and he knows I need that to! but his word says his grace is sufficient. Oh, how thankful I am that I can rest in His grace and how awed I am that the maker of the universe favors me!

rose said...

To me, grace means unconditional love. Only Jesus is able to give it freely to us if we choose to accept His love and follow Him. It seems so easy~but it is not. We in return need to show grace to others~even our enemies. It is very hard to forgive someone who has hurt you and even almost impossible to forgive someone who has hurt your children. We are capable of showing grace to one another if it is what we choose to do. I can just picture Jesus in the beautiful garden of Gethsemane~crying and watching his best friends fall asleep on Him when He needed them most. He was so young and He could have walked away from it all. He could have withheld His grace from us. If He would have committed one sin~he would never have been able to go to the cross~He would have been blemished and sullied. He was truly the unblemished Lamb of God. He willingly gave himself up to those brutal Roman soldiers~just so we could receive God's Grace~to open the way for us to be with Him in Paradise ~if we choose to accept His grace. Blessings, Rose

Robert said...

The good thing Rose about grace is it is free. So it is easy and nothing we do will earn it, because we don't deserve it in the first place. Romans 3:23-25