When you have a popular Bible and song name, you grow up enduring all the jokes that come with it. I cannot begin to tell you the amount of times people have sung “Amazing Grace” to me… the reason it’s not at the top of my list of favorite songs to listen to.
Having the name Grace, took on a brand new meaning for me during my sophomore year of college. That year was one of the most physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually challenging years of my life. It felt as if my world and plans were imploding upon itself. I got to a place where I was so frustrated with people using me for their own agenda then dropping me when they got what they wanted – when I had served my purpose in their agenda. I was also getting frustrated with myself for continually giving people second, third, fourth, fifth, and twentieth chances. I wanted to see the best in them, yet I kept getting the same results.
One night I was in a place where I just broke and asked God why in the world I kept giving these people continual chances to use, abuse, and bulldoze over me, yet they never changed. His response shook me. He told me that my name is Grace for a reason. My name is not just a meaningless name. I was given my name for a purpose. I am to be a living example of what His grace is. My life is living example of what His grace is. I would not be here if not for His grace. His grace stayed with me even when I kept throwing it back in His face. His grace to me, and to every single one of us is far greater than any grace we could extend to one another.
At one time in our life, we were strangers to the grace of God. Now, thanks be to God, we belong to Him and His household (Ephesians 2:19). We tend to want our lives to be perfect – However, if our lives were sinless, we would not need God or His grace. We tend to want God to wipe out what pains us or use to lead us away from Him. Sometimes God leaves things in us as a reminder of how far we have come and how much we desperately need Him. Our scars serve as reminders of where He brought us from and how we could do nothing without His loving grace.
Jacob (Israel) was forever left with a limp after spending a night wrestling with the Lord (Genesis 3:22-32). From that day on, Jacob was left with a physical (his limp) and identity (changed name) reminder of who He was and where he came from.
Peter was left in awe of his unfaithfulness and disbelief in Christ after stumbling into the sea and disowning his relationship with Jesus.
Saul (Paul) was healed of his blindness, yet I am almost certain that experience stuck with him for the rest of his life and ministry.
Grace is something we cannot live without. Grace will also cost us more than we could ever want or imagine. One of my favorite descriptions of grace comes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
“…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ living and incarnate… Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for… such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it cost a Man His life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life… Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of His Son… and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us… Costly grace is Jesus Christ incarnate.”
Grace is a necessity of this life.
Grace must always go with us.
Grace must be our guide.
Grace comforts us when we feel inadequate for the task at hand.
Grace gently leads us along the journey.
Grace is so powerful because it is so costly.
Such grace which we have received, we must also readily be prepared to give out to others. Such grace must be sought again and again and again. We can never reach a place where we are no longer in need of grace. For sinners we were born, and sinners we will be until we are made whole in Him in eternity. We are in desperate need of grace. We could never earn grace, which is exactly why it is such a beautiful gift given to us which should never be taken for granted.
For “God had to make a choice, a choice between your heart and the life of His Son”. That choice cost Him so much more than we could ever fathom or repay. The beauty of this is He never asks us to repay Him, He simply asks that we love and serve Him with our whole lives.
*Quote by Mark Batterson from gods At War*