Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.
God’s grace is a favorite theme with Paul—he cites it 86 times in the New Testament. In Ephesians he says when we were dead in sin, God was rich in mercy—he saved us by his grace (Eph 2:4-5).
When Jesus was a corpse in a grave, God brought him back to life. Paul says God does the same for us. When we were dead in sin, he made us alive with Christ, not because we deserved a new life, but because he is rich in mercy.
For me, grace points to the good things God has done. He freed me from introspective self-absorption, from addictive habits, from my short-sighted view of life. He’s invited me to journey on an endless road of love, viewing the marvelous landscape of his goodness.
I respond to God’s grace in three ways.
First, I choose not to focus on negatives that appear to marginalize grace—on people God hasn’t healed, on wars and famines he hasn’t stopped, on pandemics he permits to migrate and mutate their way through the world. Instead, I focus on what God has done–on his world that produces food and sunsets for 8 billion, on his offer of forgiveness for all who ask.
A second way I approach grace is to receive it, to accept the grace that accepts me just as I am. God doesn’t focus on my sin or load me with expectations of instant goodness. Though I don’t live up to his standard, God receives me and forgives me. I extend the same grace to God: though he is not achieving my standard of excellence for healing diseases and creating world peace, I approach him with thankfulness instead of anger, with hope instead of hate, with grace instead of resentment.
The third part of receiving grace is for me to be patient with the process. Sometimes grace is a refreshing rain on my dry and thirsty life. Other times, it is a desert that draws me to pray for water.
Our father, Paul the apostle of grace told us about your goodness. He shaped his life and letters around your generosity, not around his complaints. He looked at his life in a mirror of healing. He saw the church through a lens of hope, our broken world through eyes of promise.
O father, change our vision until we see your grace as Paul did.
I’m Daniel, on the channel “Pray with Me”.
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