Grace. We hear it all the time: Amazing Grace, #grace, grace & coffee, give them grace, etc. But what is grace?
Grace is getting what we don’t deserve, not in a spoiled way, but in an “I love you so deeply, here’s what you didn’t earn with works, actions, or words” kind of way.
For us, the ultimate example is the cross. Jesus died a brutal death. He died so we wouldn’t have to be put to death for falling short on the laws we couldn’t begin to uphold on our own, even if we gave it our very best. He died to take place of the actual animal sacrifice in the Old Testament. People who lived before the cross had to bring a perfect lamb or the absolute best of their flock to God as a “payment” for their sins – or those laws they couldn’t keep. But on this side of the cross, we only have to ask for forgiveness. But our job is not just a casual “hey, I’m sorry,” but true repentance.
Repentance & grace are not a “get out of jail free” card – even though that is how people often use them. We don’t get to claim grace & apologize & go on with sinning & doing things that are against the nature of a true believer in the redemption of Christ. Nope! Having a truly repentant heart that completely understands grace means we change. We don’t want to sin anymore. We don’t want to do those things anymore. It doesn’t mean we won’t mess up & have to ask for forgiveness again, but our motivations & desires change in regard to that sin. That is true repentance & true acceptance of grace. Think about it. There is a big difference between saying you are sorry & asking for forgiveness. A quick “I’m sorry” is something you offer & is often filled with hollow regret, but asking for forgiveness is more difficult. Asking for forgiveness is a request that can be met with a no. It’s a vulnerable place to be & that vulnerability is the difference.
That grace of forgiveness & love for the mom who exploded on her kids is the same grace of forgiveness & love Jesus gave the murderer. Sin is sin. There is no scale. The Bible does not differentiate between levels of sin. It is exactly what it is: sin. There is no rank to Him, so there is no sin that can outdo the amazing grace of Jesus.
So the next time you feel you are a failure or you’ve screwed up too much, remember this….
His grace is for us all, no matter how many times we need it or how long we won’t take it. His love is never-ending & His grace is always enduring. Love and grace never give up on us & will never, ever fail us.