There is no greater word than “grace.” It speaks of the undeserved favor of God. That’s FAVOR! UNDESERVED!
I didn’t deserve God’s favor when Christ died for my sins before I knew Him; I didn’t deserve God’s favor when He accepted me as His adopted child through faith in what Christ did for me on that cross; I don’t deserve His favor all the while since then, sinning, even while knowing better.
The thought of it sometimes pulls me into a sense of shame. Guilt wants to take over and pull me down into the depths. “How could someone speak the glories of God with his mouth and think the things you’ve thought – do the things you’ve done?” the enemy of my soul seems to whisper.
But then there is grace. Undeserved favor. Freely bestowed, as the hymn writer says, on all who believe.
“How could you love me, Lord,” my heart wonders, “when I feel I have so often sullied your name?”
And the answer comes: GRACE! From which flows peace.
Aside Posted on Updated on
I was recently surprised to learn that it had been five years since my last eye exam (My! How time flies!), so this morning I headed into the eye doctor. I was just expecting an eye chart exam to upgrade my lenses, and then I thought I’d pick out some new frames and be done with it. Even when he was putting drops into my eyes, I had no thought that my eyes would be dilated. But once I had said goodbye to the office personnel and stepped out into the sunniest day we’ve had yet this year, I knew. Dilation had occurred and was in full operational mode. And if I had doubted it then, there was no denying it once I pulled out into traffic and tried to drive to the church.
The simple act of seeing was painful as the bright sunlight poured in through my over-sized pupils. I drove with my visor down and a hand pulled up around my eyes at all times, doing anything short of closing my eyes to limit the brightness. Thankfully, I made it to a grocery store, where I purchased a pair of clip-on shades. Ahhhh. Much better.
This all got me thinking about the brightness of God. 1 Timothy 6:16 tells us that he dwells in unapproachable light. It was hard for me to grasp exactly what that meant until today. After all, I’d seen brightness plenty of times. Growing up in Florida, I knew what it was like to need to shade my eyes frequently. When you’re on the beach or a golf course or in traffic on a 96-degree, crystal clear day, it’s pretty bright, though I wouldn’t call it anything like “unapproachable.” But today’s experience felt like unapproachable light, even though it most certainly paled in comparison to the light in which God dwells. How glorious and majestic must he be! No wonder 1 Timothy 6:16 adds that no one has ever seen nor can see God in his unapproachable light.
Such a thought makes me thankful to Jesus for dying for my sins. The righteousness he has given me by faith (Romans 5:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:21) makes it such that, one day, I will worship at the throne of God and will “see his face” (Revelation 22:3-4). How awesome it will be to look upon the blazing brilliance of my heavenly Father and, rather than having to look away, be able to bow in unadulterated, unhindered worship. Have you placed your faith in Jesus to forgive you of your sins so that you, too, might have that glorious hope? If not, he invites you to do just that.