Upon becoming a child of God, there are many gifts that we as his children receive. To sum up all of his promises and gifts are the grace and the cross.
What is Grace?
Often you’ll hear phrases containing the word grace. “By the grace of God” or “God is Grace, God is good,” but what is grace really? The one word sums up the gifts we receive from our heavenly father.
The free gift of eternal life, his mercy which allows atonement for our sins, his favor and his unfailing love, none of which we deserve. Through his grace, we also receive his strength and empowerment. All this for free, and all this is the key to our freedom!
The Goodness of God’s Grace
God’s goodness enables us to be good. Christian author/pastor John Ortberg once described grace as “God doing in and for us what we cannot do for ourselves.” Apart from God we can accomplish nothing. Empowered by his presence in our lives there is nothing we can’t accomplish.
God’s grace allows us to live a life free of bondage. The temptation to sin can be overwhelming when we are without God and Satan does not flee from us the moment we become children of God. On the contrary, he goes into a raging fit and his attacks become more evident.
Before giving your life to God, you were a slave to sin and Satan was master of your life, whether you were aware of it or not. Your self-satisfying lifestyle was also satisfying him.
Once you accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, the real battle for your soul began. A spiritual battle for which God has equipped you. We are told to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6: 11-17), which is the only way we stand a chance at fighting a good fight.
While you won’t be free of the temptation of sin and will sin time and time again, as it is human nature to do so, you can be strengthened to the point of overpowering Satan through God’s grace. Too often believers find themselves saying “I cannot live the life God desires, I cannot stop sinning!” Do not become bound by these old ways of thinking, formed when you were held in sin’s captivity.
God has given you the key to your freedom, you must choose to use it by asking him daily to help you walk the Christian walk and live life according to his will. For it is true, you cannot live the life he desires you to live – without him. You are to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power – not your own (Ephesians 6:10). Remind yourself that you are human and prone to weakness, but his grace is sufficient and his strength is made perfect in that weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)!
The Significance of the Cross
Imagine receiving a large inheritance from someone who died. Someone you never met. Yet they died for you. So that you might receive this inheritance.
This is exactly what has happened in the case of Christ’s death on the cross and through his resurrection. He died so that you might inherit the many gifts of God. His grace, the gift of eternal life and to live well with these heavenly riches!
Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me”(Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23). A difficult call to respond to when faced with the world, but one you can reply to with sincere enthusiasm daily with God on your side. The willingness to live for Christ, following his example, and allowing your old self to die can only be carried out through that wonderful gift of grace.
Is God’s Grace Upon You?
God’s grace is not something we want to be without, but many are living without it.
How about you? How do you know for sure that God’s grace is upon you?
Through your faith in what Jesus accomplished on the cross and invitation to God to come into your life you receive the gift of his grace. Therefore, when doing the will of God, be sure it is his will you are doing and not your own, because it is by his grace and through faith that we are saved, not by our works (Ephesians 2:8).
Yet, his gift of grace can be lost in a way and for a time (Galatians 5:4).
Imagine being given a gift and never unwrapping it. Is it truly yours? Have you really received it?
Or perhaps you enjoyed it for awhile but now keep that gift high upon a shelf, finding enjoyment in other things that seem to shine a bit brighter at the moment and demand your attention.
Do not take your gift for granted; make use of it every day, as it has a lifetime warranty! God’s Word will never seize to have affect on your Christian life, and you will never seize to needing his strength and assistance. Avoid getting caught up in the common misconception that God’s grace is a license to sin.
It cannot be denied that we can go so far astray that we no longer experience the full power of his grace in our lives and in fact seize to fellowship with him (1 John 1:6). We must continually seek to put God’s Word into practice in our lives; lest we deny him as Lord of our lives, either willingly or unwillingly (Luke 6: 46-47)
When we begin living for ourselves we abandon God, but never does he abandon us. You can always call out to him, lay your sins out before him and return to him. He will renew you and receive you once again, gladly.
Put on the full armor of God and take up your cross as you roam this Earth on your way to eternity!