I have been a Christian all my life but I have never really understood what grace was or appreciated its importance until I listened to a tape called Increased Grace by my pastor, Pastor Chris. I was used to saying and hearing statements like ‘May the grace of God be with you’ but had anyone asked me to talk about grace I would not have had much to say. As far as I was concerned grace was the favor of God which God gives to us even though we do not deserve it – but there is more.
What is grace then? I love the way Pastor explains it. He explains that there is nothing wrong with the most common definition of grace ‘unmerited favor’ but that definition is very limiting and does not give justice to what grace is. Grace is the divine influence under heart reflected in life outwardly or simply put; it is the outworking of an inward divine influence. God places something on the inside of us through His Word or the Holy Spirit and this reflects on the outside. Some of the things grace gives are advantage, acceptability, favor and joy. With acceptability something about a person draws people to him/her, for no apparent reason people tend to like that person and would go out of their way to assist or do something for them. Favor – a person with grace does not struggle because good is turned towards them. Where others struggle to accomplish something and they have to plead and sweat it out, for the one with grace they do not have to go through that, actually whatever it is may actually find them without them having to put much effort.
This is just a tip of an iceberg of what pastor said in his message but by the time I was half way through the message my whole being was shouting ‘God, I have got to have this thing working in me’. Since then I make it a point to make myself aware of the presence of grace in my life for instance by making declarations that I have grace working in me, because one of the things that Pastor Chris emphasized in his message was that it is important to be conscious of grace in order for it to work. Failure to recognize grace causes it to fade but the more you recognize it and allow it to operate the more it will increase because grace reproduces more grace. I can tell you the results in my life since I became conscious of grace working in me have been astounding and I am not looking back, I want this grace to continue working in me and for me.
Sometime ago I became friends with someone. I noticed that wherever we went people seemed to generally like my friend. People would come up to her and a start conversation and many times people she barely knew would open up to her, tell her personal stuff and ask for her advice. When I always asked her how she did that she would always tell me it was grace working in her. At one time she was late in handing in an assignment but her lecturer had been understanding and had not given her a penalty. Later on she told me that other people who had handed in their assignments late had been penalized by having marks deducted. I did not have to ask I just knew that it was grace right there. Who would not want to have this wonderful thing working in them?