I was born and raised in a part of Northwest Florida where the land is about as flat as the Gulf of Mexico, and the only hill I ever saw was a bridge over the bay that was high enough for the boats to go under. When I was about eleven years old my family drove from Florida to California and we took a highway that crossed the Rocky Mountains. I could not believe my eyes the first time I saw them! Of course I had seen pictures, but there is no way an image on paper can convey the beauty and majesty—the mind boggling enormity of that sight. It seemed like it took hours to reach them, even after they were in view. And since then I have loved the mountains; looking at them, riding through them, or sitting on a lofty crest enjoying the view from them.
There are those who live in and among those incredible sights who take for granted the beauty and wonder that they are surrounded by. They see them every day and they fade into the background. So it is with many of us Christians when we remember God's amazing grace toward us. We have been rescued from an eternity of torment, the punishment that we rightly deserve has been taken by another, and our lives are filled with the life and blessing of Almighty God. And yet we seem to be content with carrying on daily with little thought or acknowledgement of the true beauty and wonder toward the real source of the blessings we enjoy.
Of course the word grace is commonplace in the Bible, being used 122 times in the New Testament alone. We may hear it so often that we lose sight of the depth and richness of its meaning.
Let's take a moment and enjoy the view; what does God's grace really mean for us?
One of the easiest ways to remember definition of grace is an acrostic I learned years ago: God's Riches At Christ's Expense. That sums it up pretty well; All the blessings God has to offer are given to me, and paid for by his own son. Remember the difference between mercy and grace. Mercy is not receiving the punishment that we deserve. Grace is receiving good things that we don't deserve.
Think for just a moment about what your life would be like right now had God not shown you His grace. There is a song that says "Were it not for grace I can tell you where I'd be: wandering down some pointless road to nowhere with my salvation up to me." Instead of being on a pointless road, we have lives full of purpose and meaning. Because of Jesus, God has put his life by the Holy Spirit inside of us, and we have peace, joy, and His love for others. We also have all of eternity to marvel at His grace in Heaven!
For one final, majestic view of grace, slowly read Ephesians 1:3-6. What an incredible thought of what grace means for us. We are Blessed ...with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. He chose us ...that we should be holy and without blame before Him. And in love He adopted us as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself...to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Father, forgive me for not pausing daily to be reminded of all that you have done for me. May I never again take your glorious grace for granted. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for my sins, for accepting me, and for adopting me as your own. I stand in awe today of who you are and all that you have done. Amen!