Scriptures

The Power And Effect Of God’s Grace

Introduction

By Funmi Glover

What is God’s Grace?

Grace means undeserved mercy or favour to turn away wrath or severe anger Grace is an essential part of God’s being and is fully embedded in His love for us. Wherever God’s love is present, God’s grace is also present. 1 Peter 5:10 refers to Him as the God of all grace, meaning all grace seen and shown anywhere comes from Him and nowhere else. Imagine vast his grace must truly be.

The power of God’s grace reminds me of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale story I read as a child called the magic porridge pot given to a very poor starving little girl who lived in a town with her mum.

The little pot would cook sweet porridge when the words “cook little pot cook” were said and stopped cooking with the words “stop little pot”. One day when the girl was out, her mother was hungry and said the magic words and it cooked porridge which she eat to her fill but she did not know the words to stop the pot cooking. The pot continued to cook porridge until the kitchen, whole house, other houses, and street after street were full of porridge just as if it wanted to satisfy the hunger of the whole world. No-one knew how to stop the pot. At last when one single house remained the child came home and just said “stop little pot” it stopped. Anyone who wanted to return to the town had to eat their way back!

The little pot is like God’s grace never ending. It has no limit. He surrounds all mankind with His unmerited and undeserved mercy and continually pours out His grace to satisfy everyone’s need. Unlike the porridge pot no-one can turn His grace on and off and it does not depend on our action or inactions.

Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us that His mercies are new every morning to all of us. The hardest type of grace to show is towards your enemies. This is type of grace God is exceedingly rich in showing to mankind who became His enemy because we are all break His laws, and as law breakers or sinners our sins and wickedness separate us from Him and condemns us to His wrath, judgement and hell.

God’s grace flows throughout the bible from Genesis to Revelation. His undeserved mercy affects us all universally and personally. The power of God’s grace brought us Jesus. John tells us in John 1:14, 16 that our Lord Jesus who is God in the flesh is full of God’s grace and truth and through him we have all received grace upon grace.

Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people”.

So when Jesus showed up God’s grace showed up. I call this being “GRACED”

God’s riches at Christ’s expense delivered.

What God’s Grace Gives People

James 4:6 tells us God’s grace requires faith humility and dedication, for it to be accepted. God’s grace provides a lot of things but I am only going to talk about 5 of them.

Forgiveness of sins & burdens lifted God is like the parable of the King in Matthew 18:15-35 who cancelled the debt of a servant who owed him 10,000 talents (≡ £2.5 million today). If the servant had a labourer’s day’s wage of one denarius it would take him 200,000 years to pay it all back. The servant could never ever, ever pay it all back! It was absurd for the servant to tell the king he could pay it all back. Even selling him and his whole family which the king wanted to do, would not have paid the whole debt. When the servant pleaded with the king, he pitied the servant and graciously cancelled all the whole debt! All £2.5 million!!!

Unlike the parable, our debt must be paid in full, but we cannot pay God back and turn away His wrath. So God’s grace in love gave up His only beloved Son to be sacrificed so his blood could pay all our debt. Ephesians 2:1-9 reminds us that it is by grace we are saved so no-one can boast. It is not by anything we have done or can do though some people think otherwise.

Jesus humbled himself to extreme pain, anguish and torture; and paid our ransom in fully when He cried on the cross Tetalestai! It is finished! and took his blood into heaven itself to the Father (Hebrews 9:23-26). All our debts to God now paid in full! All our sins and shame removed forever and God promised never ever to remember our sins again.

To have such grace extended to each of us by God is mind blowing! Think about it. This is truly the effect of being graced. Like us, how happy, relieved, free and filled with inexpressible joy do you think the servant must have felt! I bet He could not stop thanking the king before he left his presence.

We too must continually give thanks to God unlike the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19, who Jesus healed and only one came back to say thank you. We should never tire of thanking God unceasingly, unhindered by anyone or anything and truly rejoice with all our heart, mind and emotion. I think this is what Paul meant in Philippians 4:4, when he wrote:

“Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I say rejoice!”

When we each stretch out and open our hearts to receive God’s grace it changes our lives drastically and unimaginably.

It possible to have an amazing testimony whatever your background of what God in Christ has done, is doing and will continue to do in the lives of all who are saved in Christ. If He has kindly and graciously given us the ultimate in his Son, then it is very easy for Him to graciously give us all we need.

Hope God’s grace is so powerful it lifts us up from the depth of despair, sadness, loss, anguish and desperation and permanently transforms our tattered lives. There is no need to be in a state of despair anymore or think about committing suicide. No need to feel helpless and alone anymore. Now we have the mind of God to be able to hear as He hears, to see as He sees, to know as He knows, so we can put things in perspective.

Therefore we can trust Him, knowing nothing or no-one can take us out of His loving hand or condemn us anymore (Rom 8:31-39). Not even our previous guilt or shame. God’s grace assures us that He will never abandon us so you and I can be bold through life and not even fear death when it comes.

Home & Close loving Family relationship with God God’s grace brings us home where we belong with Him, especially when the world rejects, misuses or abuses us. He provides all our needs now and a heavenly home for eternity (1 Peter 2:5, 9-10; 2 Peter 3:13; Mathew 6:25-34).

Here, is the most amazing relationship ever imagined with the Creator of the universe. God Himself fully envelopes us inside with His Spirit and out with Himself. He lovingly fully adopts us as His children, with full rights as sons with direct access to Him any day, anytime.

We now call Him Abba Father, and are confident with full assurance of faith to enter the throne room of God, the almighty and holy Creator, and approach Him to thank Him and make our requests and supplications without fear. He even sends His angels to minister to us!

To have such an amazing close loving bonded Father–child relationship for an orphan or someone who has had a horrible parent-child relationship is priceless. Also in Christ, we have an amazing union and lover of our soul; and as His church we are His bride.

Eccl 6:3 says “I am my beloved and my beloved is mine”.

This is mind blowing.

Strength, Courage and Endurance even in the midst of pain and trials 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 states He is the God of all comfort. The Greek word for comfort here is strength. God is the creator of all strength!! This helps us focus on the one who can help us rather than on ourselves or others.

We come to realise and understand that God is greater than the sum of all our fears, apprehensions, sins, bitterness, negative feelings, frustrations and chaos in our lives. Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:10 that

“The God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast”.

Therefore Philippians 4:13

“I can do all things through Christ who is my strength,”

rings true and we not only believe it, but we can step out in faith and be strong!

Power over sin 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that now we are in Christ, we have everything we need to live, do God’s work and be godly. In our battle against the malignant raging cancer of sin, God’s grace now empowers us to say “NO” to sin and “YES” to godly living no matter what is going on around us (Romans 6-8), e.g. I am able to say I will obey the law and stay within the 20mph speed limit and not break it!, I can tell the truth and not lie even when pressured.

God knows we will struggle with somethings and 1 John 1: 5-10 reminds us that through His grace, we will continue to be made pure by Jesus’ blood as long we confess our sins, remain in Christ and walk faithfully with Him.

How God’s Grace Affects People & Transforms Their Lives

The effect of God’s grace needs to be seen in our lives and shared with others. God expects us to show the same mercy to others as He shows us daily. We should forgive others as God forgives us. It is like a relay race where the baton has to be passed on and the athlete is not allowed to hold on to it past a certain point.

In the parable in Matthew 18: 15-35: the first servant did not show the same mercy to another servant who only owed him a mere 100 denarii (compared to the 60 million denarii he had owed the king). He tried choking him, and put him in prison. When the king learnt of this he was angry, called the servant wicked for not showing mercy to his fellow servant and put him in jail until he paid all his debt, which of course was unpayable.

Even our enemies deserve God’s grace

In the story of Jonah & The city of Nineveh: Nineveh was a great, wealthy and very wicked city with over 120,000 people. How do you think they felt and behaved when God graciously decided not to destroy them after they repented? But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry.

Jonah 4:1-2 says:

“He prayed to the LORD, “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity”.

God had to teach Jonah that the grace he continues to receive as an Israelite, saved from death when he was thrown in the sea, providing a large leafy plant to protect him from the scorching sun and forgiving him for his disobedience is not exclusive to him but extends out to others, even his enemies whether he liked it or not.

It extends to the “disgusting & undeserved”: When Jesus visited Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7:36-50), Simon looked with absolute disgust and horror that Jesus could allow himself to be touched by a woman considered a “sinner unclean”; Jesus told him that though he was self-righteous, he too needed grace. Put yourself in her place. Imagine how blessed, free, happy and grateful the woman must have felt hearing Jesus not only acknowledge her, but praise her actions and forgive her sins! How her life must have changed!

God’s grace extends to the hopeless: The man possessed by thousands of demons in the region of the Gerasenes:

Luke 8:26-39 He was naked, lived in the burial ground, and terrified the town’s people who tried unsuccessfully to bind him in chains.

Put yourself in his place

Can you imagine how terrified, rejected and helpless he must have felt? Jesus graciously cast the demons out of him, and gave him his life back.

How do you think he felt in his right mind, clothed and calmly sitting at Jesus’s feet? Here we see two different responses to God’s grace. The people instead of being glad for this man and thanking Jesus, they begged Jesus to leave their area because they were afraid of his power. I wonder if the loss of their pigs was a reason too. Some people today are like them.

The healed man on the other hand, so overjoyed and extremely grateful did not want to leave Jesus. He begged Jesus to follow him but Jesus told him to

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”

And he obeyed. Verse 39 says he went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. What a testimony!

It extends even to the self-righteous Paul of Tarsus, whose life was so transformed when he received God’s grace from a wealthy, self-righteous Israelite and murderer of Christians who looked down on others, to someone who realised that all he had was rubbish and he needed God’s grace to give his life true meaning and value in Christ. He wrote in Romans 1:16-17:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

The gospels tell us of some women who devoted their lives to God after it was drastically transformed by God’s grace: Luke 8:2-3 tells us of some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out (and was the first to see the risen Lord); Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. They helped support Jesus and his disciples out of their own means.

In John 8:1-11, we have the woman caught in adultery, standing before everyone probably in only a sheet and feeling humiliated and ashamed. Imagine how her life must have changed when she realised Jesus graciously saved her from being stoned to death, forgave her and told her to leave her life of sin!

If we have been graced by God, we have received all the above: Forgiveness of sins & burdens lifted. Hope. Home & Close loving Family relationship with God. Strength, Courage and Endurance even in the midst of pain and trials. Power over sin.

And much, much more! How truly blessed we are! We’ve seen the result of being graced is usually:

Constant unfettered Joy, Praise, Thanksgiving, Boldness, Confidence, Endurance, Unshackled, Obedience, Freedom, and willingness to serve diligently.

So what effect does God’s grace have on you today and the rest of your life and what will you do with it? I have been graced by God. I had loving religious parents. My mum was Roman Catholic, my dad Methodist and I attended religious schools. Although we were brought up Roman Catholic they took us to various religious groups over the years – Evangelical, Pentecostal, Spiritual white garment church and even traditional witchcraft. And I even joined the Scripture Union in high school.

Yet deep down, I was someone with low confidence who was abused as a child which I hid from my parents through fear of it being my fault. I became an orphan (my dad died in my early teens and my mum in my early twenties).

While in this country I have been faced with the possibility of starving and no home; deep loneliness, really dark and sad times even with the thoughts of suicide; and for more than 15 years now, I have health issues which include chronic pain. Some nights I used to hold my bible tightly to my chest hoping to get relief from the deep sadness and void in my heart.

God through his grace found me. All the things I have mentioned today that grace blesses us with I now have and continue to receive and much, much more. All I have talked about today is my testimony. God transformed me to the person I am today who is being blessed beyond my wildest dreams! I am extremely grateful and cannot thank God enough.

I came to Him broken, wounded and desperate, and he pain stakingly mended me. He has provided and continues to provide all I need physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. His grace has had a drastic effect on me. It’s all mind blowing! He is my light when the darkness closes in. He completely removes all my sins and feeling of shame I have had for years.

He is my permanent peace when my fears and frustrations arise and are crippling. He is the best Counsellor I have ever met. He is my absolute joy and peace, and the reason I am alive and here today and not dead. I can face tomorrow in hope and look forward to death without fear. He is the reason I can sing and smile even in difficult times.

I also know of other Christians today who were bound by sin in their lives, had unfulfilled lives, drug addictions, alcoholism, immorality, loneliness, rejection, worthlessness, fear, pain and so on and were liars, cheats and thieves. Their lives have now been drastically transformed from what it was because they took hold of God’s grace and let Him change their lives. You should see them today!

Conclusion

Did you know that people search on the meaning of GRACE 90,750 times each month on the internet? Everyone needs God’s grace and He is patiently waiting for everyone to come to Him so He can transform their lives before it’s too late.

Have you been GRACED by God?

If you have, then let me encourage you to remain, enjoy and grow in the blessed state of God’s grace while you continue to praise, thank and serve Him diligently all the days of your life. Your life is an amazing, vibrant open testimony of God’s grace. Joyfully, without hesitation tell your story of how God’s amazing grace transformed your life and so encourage others to be graced too.

If you have not reached out to take hold of His grace. It is real. It’s not fake or a lie. Let me encourage you today not to be satisfied with where you are, but to reach out and take hold of His grace and be amazed at how much your life will be transformed for the best.

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness."

Galatians 5:22

MENU