Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured,
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?
Grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin!
I've been thinking about the word Grace for the past few months. Having grown up in an evangelical church, I heard about grace all the time. We sang about such things as: Amazing Grace, Marvelous Grace, Matchless Grace, and so on. The song above is one of those wonderfully rich hymns I recall about grace. I also remember hearing teachers speak about grace a few times. And as a believer, I understood how grace through Jesus Christ redeemed my life.
A while back someone mentioned getting so caught up in trying to always do the right thing that she forgot to live life (my loose paraphrase). Essentially, it paralyzed her confidence in being able to make big decisions.
Now, don't get me wrong. Striving to live a "perfect" life (being like Jesus) and doing our best to make the right choices is a good thing. But if we live in fear of making the wrong choice and it keeps us from living life, that's not a good thing. It might actually keep us from serving effectively as a believer.
In reference to the person mentioned earlier, fear of doing the wrong thing was preventing her from stepping out in faith and trusting God. She almost missed an opportunity which eventually resulted in a great blessing. For the record, this was not a good vs. evil choice.
So, I've been pondering this idea of GRACE sometimes defined as...
God's undeserved, unearned favor, goodness and love.
I know it's there to cover me when I inevitably do the wrong thing (sin), but that grace (God's love) also prevents me from testing Him. I don't want to take advantage of God's grace by knowingly doing something wrong with the idea of asking for forgiveness later. Yeah, that's just wrong any way you look at it.
But it has gotten me to thinking about missed opportunities and those moments when I wasn't sure what the best choice was so it kept me from making any choice for fear of making the wrong choice.
I'm also reminded that I WILL make mistakes. God's grace is big enough to handle my sins when I confess. But, God's grace is also big enough to handle those times when I make the wrong choice, I open door number one and find out I've just stepped into quicksand. His grace can use those opportunities to demonstrate His love, to use it for His glory, and to teach me something in the midst of it all.
Grace is a big subject. I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of it, but I am enjoying learning about it.