John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
The word “grace” appears 159 times in the Bible.
It first appears in Genesis.
Genesis 6:8 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.“
Grace is pictured in the types and shadows of ordinances of the Old Testament. Almost every Old Testament reference couples the words “found” and “grace” together. Grace is not something man can generate, create, or produce. It is genuinely given by God.
I was struck with the fact that no other person mentioned in the Bible was ever full of grace. There are religious denominations that elevate and even deify Mary, forming prayers that say she is full of grace when she is never mentioned that way in scripture.
Only Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is full of grace and truth.
By definition, and in a lesser sense, grace is favor shown to another. But by all other definitions given by Webster, it is about God’s divine favor given to sinful man.
Grace was first shown in a picture; we have it in the person of Jesus Christ.
As this world waxes worse and worse, we can still have hope.
Romans 5:20-21 “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
When you and I are not spiritual and allow our carnality to reveal itself, we hinder or frustrate the grace of God.
Galatians 2:20-21 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
To frustrate is to set aside, disesteem, neutralize, cast off, despise, or even reject. It amazes me to think that I can do such a thing against that which has been given freely.
We see four responses when offended or hurt.
Vengeance – retaliation for that which has been done to us. An eye for an eye makes both blind.
Justice – by order of law (just or unjust) to carry out the sentence prescribed for the crime committed.
Mercy – is withholding that which someone deserves.
Grace – giving to the offender that which they do not deserve.
When we receive God’s grace at salvation, we are given that which could not obtain, that which we do not deserve. We also can ask for grace for others. When we do not utilize what has been freely given, we make God’s grace of none effect.
2 Corinthians 6:1 “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.”
Grace can come when we ask God.
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Upon closer examination, we see our invitation to come into God’s throne room. The privilege of prayer is given at such a price. After Christ said, “It is finished,” the first act of God was to tear the veil that kept the people from coming into the presence of God represented by the Holy of Holies.
Because we have Christ as our High Priest, we have full access to the throne room paid for in blood. But the purpose is twofold.
First, it is mercy obtained for us. Mercy given by God withholds that which we deserve that we may receive that will help others.
Second is the grace given to help others in their time of need. As we do not have that grace to give, we must petition God for others’ needs. It is not for us to ask selfishly because our needs are already promised to be met.
Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Our prayers need to be filled with the needs of others. Prayer can be the avenue for grace to come to those whom we will never see or touch. But it cannot happen without Christ.
As He is full of grace and truth, His presence in our lives is foundational.
Today, as we travel, may grace be in our minds and on our lips to those most in need.