Photo of the interior of the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel at Callaway Gardens (by Dea Minter Carey)

 

* GRACE GIVES,… out of the overflow of LAVISH LOVE!

Glimpses of grace come to us in all kinds of ways.  We see the grace of God through His word, through an encouragement when we need it most, through the reminders of His love and mercy,  and through the majesty and beauty of His creation, which is constantly sustained by His grace.  We also see grace extended through the lives of others.  We have been given lavish grace, and we have opportunities every day to extend this grace to others.   In our lives, we all have stories of grace extended, grace recognized, grace blossoming, and grace overcoming darkness with light.

Sometimes we just don’t think about all of the manifestations of grace and may even take it for granted.  We should think about grace, because we need to seek to extend God’s grace into the lives of people with whom we come into contact and into the world around us. The only way for us to extend grace the grace that we have been given by God is to do so intentionally.  Grace is love that goes beyond.  It is lavish love.  It is not a mere exchange, requiring something in return.  Grace gives when there is no promise of recompense.  Grace reaches out through alienation and hurt.  Grace heals, encourages, surprises us, and takes our breath away at the beauty of its motivation.   For grace is pure.  It is love that gives because it overflows, not because it is deserved or earned.   Grace really IS amazing.

* GRACE EMBRACES….out of a longing for relationship

As Jesus has loved us, so are we to love one another.  We must remember that we have already been given that which we do not deserve…the love and mercy of God through our Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is because of the lavish gift of salvation that we must choose to lay aside that which is temporary and embrace that which is eternal.   When we embrace and value the lives of fellow human beings, we are most like Christ.  Though He clearly saw the sin and sorrow in every life He encountered, Jesus healed, blessed, encouraged, helped, taught, fed, raised, challenged, transformed, forgave, and loved all who came across His path.  The desire for a relationship with us because of His great love for us was more important to Jesus than any condemnation of our unrighteousness or exaltation of His own righteousness.

“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”  John 3:17

*GRACE SEES…what could be

Because grace is lavish love expressed through undeserved mercy, grace sees. Grace sees what could be….in the hearts and lives of people. Grace sees what could be….in our own hearts and lives….and our need for growth. Grace sees what could be….in relationships. Grace sees what could be….in attitudes. Grace demonstrates love to us right where we are….and sees ahead to what God will do in our lives as we yield our will and our hearts to Him.

*GRACE KNOWS US…right where we are…and chooses to show us love and mercy.

Grace is a choice that God makes in every millisecond of time to continue to show mercy because of His great love for us.  The world keeps on spinning because of Amazing Grace.  Our hearts keep beating because of the amazing grace of God.  He could choose immediate judgement, but instead He chooses grace.  And, from the dawn of time, His plan was to take our judgement upon Himself because of His great love.  We didn’t have to deserve or earn the right to forgiveness and salvation.  He loves, He provides, He forgives, He sanctifies, He heals, He makes all things new, He comforts, He blesses, He gives joy and life more abundant, and His mercies are new every morning…because He islove.  His grace flows out of the overflow of His lavish love, and the flow is never-ending.

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth; and we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father. And from His fulness we have all received grace upon grace.”   John 1:14 & 16

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth; and we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father. And from His fulness we have all received grace upon grace.”      John 1:14 & 16

This post was written by C.. Boyd

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