Grace - Where it all began
What’s so Amazing about Grace?
Grace: More than we deserve, Greater than we Imagine
Part 1 Where it all Began.
God’s grace, His favor, rests upon us, His children, you and me. God favours YOU. Think about that for a moment -God favours me. It’s called grace. Grace is not deserved nor earned but given, it is God’s unmerited, unearned gift and favor to you personally. What’s so amazing about grace à simply stated, God favors you and His grace is all over you. You didn’t achieve grace by good living, you can’t get more grace by working harder. A loving God just gives grace to us, over and over and over again and this grace is greater than we can ever imagine.
By instinct, we think we must do something to be accepted by God, or we feel I must somehow earn God’s approval and gain grace. Nay, nay. Grace, we already have it, grace is about the Giver, our Heavenly Father. We are His children upon whom His favor, His grace, rests.
During a British conference on comparative religions, experts from all around the world debated what, if any, belief was unique to Christianity. They began eliminating possibilities like gods appearing in human form, miracles etc. After some time had passed C.S. Lewis piped up and said “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.
They had to agree with Lewis, it is grace. No strings attached to grace. The Christian grace of God is free and never ceasing. The other religions had strings attached (things that they had to do). The Buddhist had the eight-fold path. The Hindu had the doctrine of Karma, the Jewish had the law and covenants, the Muslims had the code of law.
The Christian has grace with no strings attached, freely given by God, unmerited, you don’t work for it or earn it. It’s Grace and it’s amazing and it’s greater than you can ever imagine.
The first usage of the word grace is in Genesis 6 but the first glimpse of God’s grace started before time began in the heart of God, our gracious God, when He planned that His grace, His favour, would fall upon George MacDonald, and you, and we would become His children and reside with Him forever.
Here's the story of Noah
Genesis 6:5-8 NIV
5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. (some versions say favour à same thing)
9 … Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
Do you hear the harshness, can you feel the power and force of these words. There was great wickedness, every intent was only evil continually. This was real; and we know it’s real because in modern times we’ve read or even experienced the horror of terrible human depravity and wickedness. The Nazi death camps, Rwanda, Cambodian killing fields, Al-Qa'ida, Ukraine.
We realize it is possible that a society can sink to the point where every thought is about evil, continually. It happened in the days of Noah. It seemed to happen so quickly, 7 generations from Adam to Noah. It has happened again in 2023, a world stuck in sin and wickedness. Even Canada STUCK and needing grace, abundant grace, yes even, Amazing Grace.
Grace is the basis for the Christian faith. We believe we are saved by grace through faith. God's grace is usually defined as undeserved favor. Grace cannot be earned; it is something that is freely given. We count on God's grace and the bridge he built in our relationship with him.
GRACE is stated as God’s riches at Christ expense.
Have you ever been stuck? Not just stuck for an answer, but really, really stuck.
Maybe your vehicle is stuck.
Maybe you went off the road and you’re stuck in the ditch or snow.
Maybe you got in trouble . . . and now your stuck and you need someone to get you out or just help you in your time of need.
Maybe you were literally stuck. You got into something and couldn’t get out. Has that ever happened to you?
When we’re stuck like that, do you know what? Nobody responds with the answer, “I can handle this myself. Just give me time and I’ll get out of here. I’m just a day or two away and I’ll make it. Don’t worry, it’s not a problem.” Nobody tried to save themselves. They needed help from above. They needed someone from up there to come into their world to pull them out.
-we’re stuck in the snowbank of sin, really stuck and we weren’t meant to be stuck in a world filled with despair, depression, death and decay. So, how do we get out of it?
God answers us with a simple word . . . Grace.
The bank gives us a grace period.
People can fall from grace.
Musicians speak of a grace note.
We describe the dinner host as gracious.
We proclaim a wonderful dancer is graceful.
We use the word to name our daughters, and churches
We even ask to say grace before a meal.
One of the most famous of all hymns is called Amazing Grace.
But, really, how much of grace do we really understand? Max Lucado suggests, we have settled for a ‘wimpy grace.’ A grace which fits nicely in a hymn, fits nicely on a church sign and is a mile wide but an inch deep.
-the thought of God’s grace and favour resting on me, it grips me, it stirs me, it thrills me and brings me to tears.
-God’s grace has surrounded me and carried me through all my life -how wonderful it is, said David, that Your thoughts would be about man, me. God favours you – that’s grace
Here are 3 questions with a short answer followed by me talking more about this unstoppable and irresistible Grace.
Do I really need God’s grace in my life?
Yes, you sure do. It’s a life or death, a heaven or hell situation.
What do I have to do to have God’s grace, so that His favour rest on Me?
Do? Nothing, nada, nil, zero, not anything, naught.
Most of us want that ‘how to’ book. How to obtain grace in 12 easy
lessons. Or you can buy grace in only 4 easy payments of $29.99, and
if you call in the next 10 minutes, we’ll throw in an apple corer and
reduce it to 3 easy payments. -Nope.
Every believer in Christ has God’s favour on them. It’s free, unearned
and undeserved. Grace is not a paycheck, it’s a gift from God to you.
What do I do now that I have God’s grace on me?
Accept the gift in faith and then live like God favours you. Let your conduct, your words and even your thoughts reflect who you are in Christ -blessed and highly favoured.
Let’s get back to the true story of Noah and these 3 questions will unpack themselves.
Aaah, Noah, He’s a good guy! Right! There’s still one out there who is trying to do good, who has a good heart! Was Noah kind, compassionate, a preacher, a missionary, generous? Did he pray all the time? Did he fast? Did he pray & fast? What did Noah do to deserve God’s grace?
Although the Bible says that Noah was a just man and perfect (meaning complete not meaning sinless) this didn’t make God favour him or force God to grant grace to Noah. Before even the world was made Noah was favoured by God, remember grace is still undeserved, unearned and unmerited by everyone.
-this reminds me of you and me -highly favoured. Thank you, Lord.
Here’s a truth statement about grace:
Grace is not up to the one who receives it (you and me), but grace is up to the one who gives it (God).
Maybe that’s the part we miss. God gives grace freely – we receive grace freely. A gift given à a gift received.
The big message of grace is not what we do, but what God does. Grace doesn’t depend upon our accomplishments, or our works. It’s by grace by God’s grace and unmerited favour. We just have to receive the gift.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Maybe the reason Noah emerges, is that the focus wouldn’t be on Noah, but would be on God. Noah found grace. Noah didn’t find a reward or recognition for what he did. Noah didn’t find an ability within himself, or the capacity to reach God. Instead, he found a God who would find him. Grace is found in a God who reaches down and extends His hand into a sinful world. Noah found grace, because God found Noah.
And God found you. You found grace because God found you.
If you don’t know God today and you don’t have a personal relationship with God through faith in the risen Christ than know this. God’s grace is waiting for you to respond in faith. Believe in God, believe in God’s Son, Jesus, turn from your unbelief and come and receive and then the grace of God, His favour, will be on you. You’ll be saved, blessed and highly favoured.
Could you use this kind of grace that we have been talking about?
Could you use the kind of grace that doesn’t depend on the goodness of the receiver, but on the goodness of the giver?
Could you use the kind of grace that doesn’t depend upon the perfection of the person, but on the faithfulness of God?
Could you use the kind of grace that says, no matter how dark the world gets, wherever God finds a flicker of faith, He responds with a gift of grace.
I think we all could. I think we’d all agree, this world is not a paradise. We find ourselves in a world filled with war, anger, bitterness, hunger, disease and death. And no matter how many times we paint the walls of the building, how many times we move the furniture around or buy a new toy, the world just doesn’t seem right. We know there’s a better world, a better way than this one.
Amid all this, comes this message of grace from God. Be still, be quiet, believe and be blessed of God and highly favoured.
Grace à is an invitation from God to receive a gift. An invitation to you.
Believe and follow God’s way, not your way, His Way. Grace will fall on you.
John 1:16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Could you use grace upon grace? It’s a gift from God to you.
Believe, accept and follow.
July 2, 2023