Today’s question comes from Steve. She wrote: “My friend and I were discussing the meaning of “Grace of God”. Is it God’s Love, God’s forgiveness, God’s presence, or all these things?”
My shortest, most direct answer, would be, “Yes. It’s all of those things.” Of course as a pastor, I can’t stop there. But I will keep my response short.
My experience of grace began when I memorized Ephesians 2:8 in third grade: “For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast” (KJV).
I learned the verse in the King James Version, and that’s how I STILL remember it some 40 years later.
While some people talk mostly about love as their defining characteristic of God, I use grace. I think of grace as being a loving, free gift of God that comes before even our awareness of God’s presence in our lives (a concept that John Wesley referred to as “prevenient grace”). Grace paves the way for our ability to respond to God’s presence and love in our lives.
Since this AMAZING, unmerited gift was extended so freely by God, I think that’s why I’m such a HUUUUUUGGGGE fan of humility as well. I never think of trying to take credit for anything I have achieved. That’s because in my book, absolutely EVERYTHING flows out of God’s grace/graciousness. I can’t help but feel overwhelmed and extremely grateful for the grace with which my life has been saturated!
So how about you? What are your thoughts about grace, and your experience of grace?