by Donna Berger
This fall our Bible group is studying the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians. The letter is highly regarded as Paul’s greatest work and has been called among many praises, “the holy of holies of Paul’s writings.” It is cleanly divided into two part: chapters 1- 3 cover Paul’s summary of God’s plan for mankind and how it unfolds through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, death and resurrection. Chapter 4-6 cover how we should live and walk in a faithful relationship with God in our daily lives.
This past week, our study group finished the first half of Paul’s letter and I want to share with you what was very meaningful to me out of three chapters that were filled to the brim with the good news of our salvation – For, by grace [we] have been saved through faith. Eph. 2:8
God does not force us to accept Him, but He provides us with the grace we need to choose Him and to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Grace gives us the power we need to believe. When we choose to accept Christ, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit and promised eternal life with Christ. How blessed are we?!
So, what exactly is this grace we are talking about? Definitions of grace are boundless, but let’s look at a few. God’s grace is His unmerited favor of love, kindness and mercy. It is God’s divine influence that works within us to:
Bless and sanctify us
Inspire us to do good
Give us strength to endure the trials, and
Spurgeon tells us it is obvious that we should thank God for the temporal or earthly blessings He showers on us, but we should thank God “in thunders of hallelujahs for spiritual blessings.” The blessings of God’s grace “are the rarest, the richest, the most enduring of all blessings; they are priceless in value.”
We are alive together in Christ through our faith, and God daily gives us the grace we need to remain true to our faith and abide in Him. He provides the grace, but it is up to us to use it in our daily life. We can have a closet full of grace, but if we choose to leave it behind as we start our day, it will not serve the purpose for which God intended it. I printed up a sheet that I keep on my desk that reads,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9
I put it there one day when I was feeling particularly down and defeated to remind myself that I am never defeated in Christ. But, God’s grace is not just about helping us when we hit a wall and feel hopeless and helpless – which of course it absolutely does. It is about living fruitfully, witnessing to God’s presence in our life and sharing His Word with others. We need His grace to do that daily. Don’t be a passive bystander in life, grab that grace from your closet, put it on and live in the fullness of Him who loves us beyond measure.