Amazing Grace

The overwhelming love of God for an unworthy being – me.  He initiated the love, and in response, what have I done?  I run towards it, and then shrink away from it with my sins.  I plunge into its amazingness and then withdraw and drown in my own misery.  It’s like that scene in Tangled where Rapunzel was finally out of the tower and she was celebrating her freedom one moment then feeling bad another moment.   Yet for me it’s celebrating how God has freed me and then going back to sinning then feeling bad for sinning.  And all the time, God looks at me with love and mercy, waiting for me to realise what I’ve been doing and return to Him.  That immeasurable patience God has for me, I have no words.

If only letting go and letting God is easily done as it is being said (in a span of few seconds).  Experience has taught me, and most would agree, that it is not the case.  I happened to read on this verse from Romans 3:23-25 last night and dived into the grace of God.  I knew that grace is God’s gift – God’s mercy, my salvation and the promise of eternal life.  Amazing, amazing grace.  However, last night led me deeper into what grace is and I encountered these words telling me to guard this grace, to use it wisely and make it increase.  How?

Carefully guard the grace we have received.

Hebrews 12:28 “We have been given possession of an unshakeable kingdom.  Let us therefore hold on to the grace that we have been given and use it to worship God in the way that he finds acceptable, in reverence and fear.”

1 Peter 5:12 “… to encourage you to never let go this true grace of God to which I bear witness.”

Use the grace received wisely.

1 Peter 4:10 “Each one of you has received  a special grace, so, like good stewards responsible for all these different graces of God, put yourselves at the service of others.”

Romans 12:4-6 “Just as each of our bodies has several parts and each part has a separate function, so all of us, in union with Christ, form one body, and as parts of it we belong to each other.  Our gifts differ according to the grace given us…”

It is not enough to receive grace and remain in it, it must increase.

2 Peter 3:18 “Instead, go on growing in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.  To him be glory, in time and in eternity.  Amen.”

2 Peter 1:2 “May you have more and more grace and peace as you come to know our Lord more and more.”

Whoa!  And if that’s not enough, I was even warned about falling from grace, forfeiting the grace being given, and insulting the Spirit of grace.

Hebrews 12:15 “Be careful that no one is deprived of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness should begin to grow and make trouble; this can poison a whole community.”

Grace is a gift, freely given by God.  Receiving or denying it is the response we can have.  And to receive something with so much value would of course require of us to take care of it – guarding and using it wisely.  Why?  This grace from God is our strength and our help, which we receive by asking humbly for it through prayer.

Hebrews 4:16 “Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.”

James 4:6 “But he has been even more generous to us, as scripture says, “God opposes the proud but he gives generously to the humble.””

And to find ourselves with this amazing grace will make us say “Lord, Thank You.  You are enough.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 “but he said, ‘My grace is enough for you: my power is at its best in weakness‘.  So I shall be very happy to make my weaknesses my special boast so that the power of Christ may stay over me,”

Colossians 3:16 “Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.  Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom.  With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God;”

And so, I found myself taken into this journey of understanding this gift.  And the following day, well, I stumbled.  I run back to the Throne Room asked for His mercy and the grace to pick myself up and move forward.  It’s true what C.S. Lewis once said, “Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done“.  I wish I can tell you that I have fully grasped and perfected what’s being asked here, I haven’t.  I’m far from it.  Yet one thing I can assure you, God is faithful.  So with that, I pray we all find even that small amount of strength and humility to approach the throne of grace and ask for this help, this wisdom from God and to never tire of asking.  Like the father awaiting his prodigal son, God awaits us all with open arms and to give us even more generously than that of the father in the parable all the riches of His kingdom.

*All bible verses taken from the New Jerusalem Bible.
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