“We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth come through Jesus Christ” (John 1:14, 16-18, NIV).
Grace…The Lord is taking me on a journey to understand this simple, yet incredibly complicated word. He is challenging me to think grace-filled thoughts, to speak gracious words, to have graceful attitudes, and to encounter people with the grace I have so freely received. Let me share with you a portion of my journey.
The more I study, the more I’m convinced that grace isn’t simply something we receive, it is something we must give. There are many verses that don’t actually use the word grace that challenge us toward grace-filled living:
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2, NIV).
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for the building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger…be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4: 29, 31-32, NIV).
Galatians 6 encourages us to encounter others with grace, even those who are caught in sin. We are to restore them gently and humbly. I have asked my self, do I tend to think of others critically and judgmentally, or with a desire for them to experience the redemptive work of grace?
My thoughts, words, and actions toward others must reflect God’s redemptive thoughts, words, and actions toward me. Freely I have received, freely I must give. I desire to allow the amazing grace Christ has lavished on me to pour through me to every person I encounter, especially to the person closest to me—my husband.