For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). Notice the text says that grace is “the” gift, not “a” gift. The use of the word “the” implies it is the gift that stands out from all others, for which there is no comparison. Grace was God’s spontaneous reaction to our need for salvation. Christ’s death on the cross at Calvary provided the means for our salvation. Salvation is a free gift that is given apart from all works. Although God’s grace is freely given, we are not to take it for granted. Rather, God’s grace calls for us to live a life worthy of the Lord, to live according to higher a standard above that of the world.
Unmerited favor is an often-quoted definition for grace. But grace encompasses much more. Grace is an empowerment that provides favor, healing, deliverance, ability, protection, preservation, wholeness, and promise. Grace is to be accompanied by faith. And even our faith is a gift. Hebrews 12:2 lets us know that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He is the originator and perfecter of our faith. Faith is the bridge that transports you from your present circumstances to God’s future reality for your life. Faith shifts you from dependence on self and onto belief and trust in God.
I was brought up to say thank you and be appreciative when given a gift. So then, how are we to show appreciation for God’s free gift of salvation? While you can never earn God’s grace, good works should flow out of a heart of love and gratitude for all Christ has done for you. We are to willingly serve Him and share our time, talents, and treasure according to God’s will. When I think about all Jesus has done for me, saved me from, and saved me for, it is not out of a sense of obligation, but rather out of a heart of love that I want to serve and obey Him.
While we may retire from a job, Christians should never retire from doing good works. Regardless of your age or present ability, there is always something you can still do to serve God. God’s grace empowers you to accomplish His will. The transformative nature of grace is that it empowers you to become and do everything God has planned especially for you. God’s grace equips you with all sufficiency in all things (II Corinthians 9:8). Why? So you can live out God’s purpose and destiny for your life, even in the face of daunting circumstances. God has more grace than you have problems. You believed God for your salvation. Now believe Him for everything else.
Until next time…Be blessed!
Rev. Cynthia Jackson, Rhema Inspirations