God’s Gift of Grace

           My brother’s family named their golden retriever Grace. I call her Gracie Dog. She was born in 2005 and entered her new home on February 5th five years ago. The number five just happens to be the Biblical number of grace. I always thought that was pretty cool, as if the Lord had a hand in it. Of course, He did. The same way He has a hand in granting to anyone who is willing His unmerited divine favor (grace).

           Sometimes I wonder why the whole world isn’t lined up to receive the one thing that cures their eternal ills and reconciles them with God. Though living a real Christian life is not easy, living in a cold, hard world is significantly more difficult, and often impossible. We were designed to live for God and with God. We were created to be with Him, not apart from Him, and not lost on some weird avenue leading nowhere but down. Everything about the Lord is upward, and positive. He lifts spirits, He blesses with joy and peace, and He makes a place for the lonely and alone:

           A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in His holy habitation. God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, only the rebellious dwell in a parched land. [Psalm 68:5-6]

           Grace is not about deserving anything. It is by perfect definition a pure gift—a gift inspired and motivated by pure love. The Lord is out to get us. He wants us for Himself. His desire is to smother us with love and affection, make our backs strong and straight, light up our faces with the joy of His Spirit, and bless us abundantly. But He also knows we can only handle so much blessing. Too much at any given time and He might spoil us, something He will never do. In the meantime, though our trials and times of testing and growth may be severe, such in no way must ever question or diminish the full measure of His love and grace. As He Himself, these things are eternal. They are gifts to be accepted that He will only give and never, ever take back. Falling away from God and going into a world of sin, however major or minor, is purely our decision. It is never His. Though He often grieves for lost souls who refuse His grace, He also respects their choices.

            And though He is a mighty Warrior and powerful in all respects, the Lord Jesus has a tender heart of love. He extends a hand of grace toward you this day.

           …For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. [Romans 3:23-26] [1]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Posted on May 18, 2011, in Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Response to “Everything about the Lord is upward, and positive. He lifts spirits, He blesses with joy and peace, and He makes a place for the lonely and alone”

    While everything about God is upward, he saw a need for mankind to be downward before they could be upward…. Jesus, our example “humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross. We have a lot’s of ups and downs in this life.

    Consider: “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Luke 18:13-14 – NIV).

    And, consider: ( 1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross! (Phil. 2:1-8 – NIV)

    Jesus said: “1 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine dresser. 2″Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
    4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

    I am the vine and you are the branches… The vine (Christ in human form) lowered Himself, rooted in God’s Love for man, did all according to the Father’s will… Even to the fulfilling of all prophecy. And now, sitting at God’s right hand, Jesus lives within believers through the Spirit. So, as we lower ourselves… Rid ourselves of all pride and ego, accept Christ, put on His full armor, realize and accept how helpless we are without Him, then He can indwell us with His Spirit. Becoming grounded and rooted in the faith, we yield to the Vine Dresser’s (the Father’s) pruning, grow new branches and produce much fruit.

    Blessings, don

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  2. Excellent, Don. Thank you.

    The Way Up is Down. It is all the same road, taking the downward trek first, through the valley of repentance and humility, putting down roots, through self-sacrifice and a desire to serve the Lord and others. Even water baptism is a type of burial after “death” through repentance. But then follows the upward trek, toward the mountain tops, reaching up to the Lord in joy and thanksgiving through the power of His Spirit, and becoming ever-fruitful.

    “The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward.” [2Kings 19:30, Isaiah 37:31]

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  3. Praise God, your quote from 2Kings and Isaiah sums it up quite nicely…what an adventure!

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