GRACE, A BETTER SOLUTION
Paul’s letters often bless his readers with “grace and mercy from God.” But I wonder if we understand the power of those words. Just what is grace and mercy? Here’s one easy way to explain the difference.
Mercy is not receiving what we deserve.
Grace is receiving what we don’t deserve.
God shows mercy by removing the death sentence we deserve.
God shows grace by giving eternal life that we don’t deserve.
It is by grace we are saved through our faith in Jesus Christ. But His grace is vital for every day living as well.
When I’m weak and tired, God’s grace provides me strength to go on. When I’m overwhelmed, His grace helps me endure. When I’m treated unfairly, God’s grace helps me to respond with a smile. His grace is just what I need! All the time!
One of the Hebrew definitions of grace is “to stoop in kindness to an inferior.” God stoops down to lift me up to His way of thinking. His ways are higher than ours. A note in my Bible says, “Human weakness provides the ideal opportunity for the display of divine power.”
Let’s consider a few scripture about grace in the New Testament, noticing the various ways in which it is described.
Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-8
1. How would you describe a thorn in the flesh? What was its purpose according to these two verses? How many times did Paul ask God to take it away?
Read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
2. What is God’s response to Paul’s plea to remove his torment? Why is God’s grace a better solution to Paul’s problem than removing it?
Read Titus 2:11-12
3. What does the grace that brings salvation teach us? (Remember, our salvation should produce good works; good works do not produce salvation.)
Read Hebrews 4:16
4. What does grace allow us to do? Why is grace vital in our lives?
Read 2 Timothy 2:1
5. What does this verse say we are to do in grace?
One translation says this grace is found only in Christ Jesus. Grace provides strength. I’ve read that there are times we should ask God for some EMG. An extra-measure-of-grace might be just what we need for both difficult people and difficult circumstances. God stands by our side to provide everything we need for life. He just wants us to depend on Him. Ask God for an extra measure of grace when you need it. It’s often a better solution than you might imagine.
His grace is sufficient for every need. Grace is vital! Stop and think about that today.