The God of Grace is a great gift
Being a pastor in my hometown is a beautiful gift that has enabled me to engage in countless conversations about the grace of God in my life and others. Over the years, I’ve noticed that the word “grace” is used in a variety of contexts — and am at times reminded of these lines from Inigo Montoya, from the movie The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
Some use the word “grace” to describe elegance or to address an authority figure (as in “Your Grace”). For the Christian, “grace” is one of the most important words to understand rightly. Fortunately, we are not left to figure out what grace is on our own. Grace is present throughout the Bible. It is an unmerited gift, an undeserving act of love and is at the core of what all the Bible teaches from Genesis to Revelation. God gives humanity what they don’t deserve. God gives love to the unlovable, value to the worthless, peace to the restless, and salvation to the lost.
If we want to understand grace best, we need to look no further than the perfect embodiment of grace, Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection have enabled us to have a new identity (1 Cor. 15:10), a new standing before God (Rom 5:2), and a new way of living (Acts 13:43). Here is why grace matters so much for us today. In our American culture, we are told to achieve more, do more, and that we are entitled to more. Some find this pressure motivating, but in the end, this expectation crushes all of us. We can’t be perfect; we can’t accomplish it all; and we don’t live up to the hype.
But God is a God of grace. Scripture says it best in 2 Cor 5:21 “For our sake he made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Christ gave us what we don’t deserve by taking on what we did deserve.
When we come to Him, the God of the Bible, we can come with nothing to offer, hands open wide in desperation, for He is the loving Father who specializes in giving us what we can’t achieve. So, if you are tired of trying to be someone you are not, I invite you to turn to the God of Grace.
Luke Wartgow of Berean Bible Church in Gardnerville is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.