Have you ever been presented with an extravagant gift, and only later realized how much it would actually cost you?
Perhaps your parents gave you a car when you were a teenager. You may have loved that car. It made you feel like an adult, and gave you a measure of independence that you loved. But it was also expensive. Only too soon you discovered how much it would cost for maintenance, insurance, licensing, and gas to drive.
Perhaps your boyfriend got down on one knee and presented you with a beautiful, extravagant ring. What a gift! It was a material demonstration of his great love for you. But it was also expensive. Accepting that gift would mean agreeing to join your life with his – forever. It would mean giving up your right to independence, to live where you wanted, and to do what only you wished. It would mean giving your heart to someone knowing you would never get it back.
God’s grace is called a gift. (Ephesians 2:8) And what a gift it is! There’s nothing you could have done to earn it, and there’s nothing you can do in the future to repay it. God seems extravagant, perhaps even reckless (to us), in how He freely offers His grace with abandon.
What does grace mean? It’s how God offers to forgive our sins, puts us in good standing with Himself, and makes all His resources available to transform our brokenness into beauty and glory. And it’s FREE! Given to you as a gift.
The analogy is not perfect, but think of God’s grace as the engagement ring presented to a young lady. She would be foolish to ever try to repay her boyfriend for such a gift. Doing so would actually cheapen its meaning. Just so, we are foolish if we try to repay God’s grace by working to help people, “cleaning up our act,” or doing Christian service.
Even though it’s free, accepting the gift of an engagement ring changes a woman. It requires something of her, such as commitment, relationship, change of legal status (with marriage), and love.
And accepting the gift of God’s grace changes you and me too. Tweet that.
Accepting God’s grace means the addict no longer has an excuse for living as they have. Sure, change may be difficult, but that’s what grace does. It accomplishes that change.
Accepting God’s grace means the self-centered cheater can’t get away with acting that way any longer. They must respond by living with generosity and integrity. (See Zacchaeus, Luke 19:2-10)
Accepting God’s grace means the abusing husband, the destructive wife, the violent parent, the angry boss, the dishonest seller, the lazy employee, the cruel bully, the disrespectful teenager, or the manipulative leader don’t have to live that way anymore. Grace means there’s a way out!
Just as with the gift of an engagement ring, accepting God’s grace requires commitment, relationship, change of legal status, and love. Forever.
Have YOU accepted God’s extravagant, transforming, and costly gift of grace?
He hopes you do. He hopes you’ll respond by giving your whole heart back to Him.
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)
Your Turn: What does God’s grace mean to you? Leave a comment below.
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- The gift of God’s grace demands a costly change in you and me. Tweet that.
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