by Andrew Jewell
We talk a lot about Grace as a concept within the Church. Usually (and rightly so) in reference to Christ’s redeeming work on the Cross. Not so often however do we discuss the Grace as something we show to one another as an outpouring of the Grace God has shown us.
Often we talk about forgiveness and love as separate entities, however taken together these things are an expression of Grace. We choose to give freely in love, out of the love God has given us and forgive as He forgave us.
..to give on top of forgiveness..
But what about our own expression of Grace- not simply Christian love or choosing to forgive but choosing to look past what may have been done to us to act in a way that will empower, lift up and edify someone else. Not just to forgive, but moreover to give on top of forgiveness.
It’s very easy to say we will be kind and edifying to those that in our opinion deserve it. It is another entirely to edify others for the sole reason that they don’t deserve it- Just as Jesus did.
To clarify, acting in love toward those that seek it or need our Christian love is part of our Christian walk, to be the expression of Christ on Earth. But to go the extra mile, to move beyond ourselves to lift before God those that have hurt us emotionally, physically or spiritually brings us to the foot of the Cross. We experience first hand the greater secrets of Grace that we forget.
Jesus was crucified not because we deserved saving, but solely because we didn’t deserve Salvation. Grace was not simply a response to our need, but an outpouring of Love because the Father chose to act beyond Himself for those that could offer him nothing in return. Instead we offered only human brokenness, frequent unfaithfulness, disobedience and betrayal spattered with a light dusting of love. Often when we feel it is in our interest to seek his relationship and mercy.
The nature of Grace is that which gives beyond forgiveness, moves beyond where we can move ourselves and points always to the Father.
When is the last time you acted in true Grace as the Father has shown us… and when will the next opportunity arise? When can we next build our Philosophy of Grace?