This devotional by former Major League Baseball player Brett Carroll is featured in: The Increase’s 21-Day YouVersion Devotional. Start this plan to hear more articles by Pro Athletes.
Just say that word silently under your breath, or loudly into the air. It’s amazing how one word can evoke feelings of peace and rest in the people who say it, and in people who hear it spoken over them. And in an age when so many “religious” words have lost their meaning, this one most definitely has not.
On one hand, we experience the grace of God at the cross of Jesus. In Christ, God is reconciling the world to Himself “while we were still enemies” with Him. He looks at us as we’re either running from Him or attacking Him and proclaims, “They’re worth dying for.”
On the other hand, the grace of God doesn’t stop when we trust Jesus with our lives—when we become Christ-followers. Grace is something that’s ongoing with God, not a one-time deal. Grace characterizes His heart toward His children.
So in my good moments, when I get it right, God meets me with grace.
In my bad moments, when I respond with judgment toward someone who doesn’t deserve it, God meets me with grace.
When I succeed and when I fail, God meets me with grace.
When I find myself pursuing some lesser thing, hoping it will give me the life only Christ can provide, God still meets me with grace.
We believe in the grace of Christ given at the cross, but do we really buy into the daily and ongoing grace! I’ve just described? It’s almost too good to be true.
It’s all too easy for us to do exactly what Paul warns the Galatians against in Galatians 3—to adopt a belief that begins with Jesus, but finishes with our own good works. It’s easy to accept the grace of Christ at the moment of our conversion, and then act as if the way to “stay” saved is by our works. And Paul isn’t being gentle with his words here, is he? He’s scolding an entire church for the limitations they’re attaching to the grace of God.
Don’t get me wrong—we should absolutely do good works with our lives. Here’s what I think is the key to the whole thing: Our lives are lived in response to the grace of God—a grace that keeps running to us, over and over again, and not because He owes it to us.
But because He delights in it.
The story of my life is characterized by the grace of God running toward me. I, in turn, am learning how to offer that same daily grace to the people in my life. You can see my life story at theincrease.com.
Check out Brett’s Increase Profile: https://theincrease.com/author/brettcarroll/
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