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Friday, September 18, 2009

The Gift of God called Grace

I was sitting, reading and contemplating the life I am allowed to live. There isn't anything I could ask for that would enhance what I all ready have and have experienced. It made me start to think about the incredible gift of God called "grace." It is such an intangible representation of God's character. Yet, it has such tangible results in our daily lives. It occurred to me that God's grace is really administered from two perspectives.
The first perspective would be what I would call "in order for."
The second perspective would be what I would call "because/need."
The grace of God existed before sin, before any of our creation. God's grace was on display as He majestically, artistically, in the finest detail and with perfect precision, made all we know and are still in the process of discovering. In the depths of our oceans and to the far reaches of space we continue to find the grace of God.
His grace, as it manifests as "in order for" keeps the universe functioning after creation. Gravity, planetary and moon orbits, star placement, even light are in place to maintain life on this planet. Ecosystems are by the grace of God. They are in place "in order for" life to be maintained. Thus, environmental awareness and conservation are theologically sound exercises of our faith in fulfilling God's grace in granting us dominion over His Creation.
His grace, operating in the form of "in order for" will eventually bring a stop to the pain and suffering of this world. But before that gets expanded upon let's look at God's grace in from the perspective of "because/need."
In the beginning God's grace was in place to sustain all He created (and is still operating as such) and was especially rendered for the specifically unique centerpiece of His Creation, the human race. The only part of creation created in His Image. Unlike the rest of creation this work of art would be able to react, think through, and respond to a relationship with the Creator. Unlike the rest of created beings on earth the human race would not be driven primarily by instinct. The human race was given the gift of being rational, emotive, analytical beings who could weigh circumstances and freely choose. The were given the right to make decisions. "Right" and "wrong" would be allowed to be evaluated. Like their Creator they could be righteous. Or, they could make the decision to be completely unlike their Creator. They were allowed to make decisions based on their own desires, not those of others. They (we) chose the later.
Since that infamous day in human history, this poor choice has been repeated everyday by virtually every human being on the planet. Our "self" is the ruler of the gift of free will. So grace took on its other form, it became the grace of "because/need."
BECAUSE we have decided to continue with the choice to live our way we NEED a means by which to be restored to the grace of "in order for."
So Christ took up human life and lived it according to the original plan. He would make all His decisions based on our Creator's will and on behalf of others. His "self" did not influence his decisions. He did this because of our need. He gave up everything in order for those who accept, can re-enter a daily relationship with the Creator. We re-enter the eternal relationship as we walk, breath, and occupy the portion of time granted to us. Eternity is not something we wait for, it is something granted the moment we say "yes" to following Jesus' Ways.
The original form of God's grace, giving us choice, giving us the means to be sustained, is reintroduced to us because of our need. Ironically, the form of grace of God referred to as "in order for" is now operating through those who realign to Christ. In order for others to know God, in order for us to grow and more closely resemble Christ, in order for us to live the abundant, full lives brought to us through Christ, God's Spirit is released into our lives. The Spirit guides, convicts, rebukes, and illuminates in order for our transformation to continue as we utilize our free will to honor our Creator and others.
That is the ultimate role of grace, to bring glory and honor to the Wonderful Creator. What He has so graciously provided for our benefit shows brightly into the lives of those yet to know Him.
So the question must be asked, "Are you allowing God's grace, in either form, to change the direction of your life and allowing your life to reflect into the lives of those around you?" Truly, this is our best offering of worship to our Creator, the willingness to focus all our life toward God. That embracing of grace has a draw that no mortal can withstand.
As always, may you discover and embrace the life Jesus has made possible for you.