Friday, January 20, 2012


Continuing with the theme of alphabetically inspired posts has presented a challenge, not because I have had difficulty in thinking of a subject on which to write, but because I have had difficulty choosing from among the many things that come to mind.  The letter "G" has been especially difficult because there are so many possible subjects.

I have chosen the subject of grace because it is the fuel of my very existence.  I find that as I contemplate the unmerited favor by which I have been blessed that I was remiss in not using the word "faith" for the letter "F."  It is particularly appropriate to my way of thinking that the words should follow each other just as grace follows faith in the natural order of things.  Faith must come first.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast." __ Ephesians 2:8-9

Grace is a difficult concept for the human mind to grasp.  After all, it is a "works" based world in which we live.  We are rewarded based on performance -- meeting expectations.  How could it be possible that to gain heaven we must simply have faith in the saving power of Jesus Christ rather than it being the reward of good works?

Yet, the things we do -- works -- are self-focused.  They are the epitome of reliance on self, not on God.  How can we worship God if our focus is on self?  It is only when we realize that anything we do in an attempt to gain His favor is merely self-worship that we begin to understand who God is.  If He is truly a God worth worshipping then there must be a different path into His presence.  Fortunately for us He provided such a path.

When we see that the requirement to come before God is perfection, meeting all of His expectations of behavior, we quickly realize that none of us can ever be perfect.  The response to such realization can be rejection of God in His entirety because we refuse to acknowledge that in ourselves we are incapable of perfection, or we can turn to God Himself to provide a way into his presence.  Fortunately He has done so by coming into His creation in the form of one of us -- the man Jesus.

It is the grace of God -- His favor upon us, though completely unmerited -- that provides the path for salvation.  But, what is salvation?  From what must we be saved?  If God created the heavens and the earth then existence is totally dependent on Him.  If we cannot enter into His presence, the alternative must necessarily be an existence away from Him.  This presupposes that our earthly life is not all there is; there is a life after physical death.  Separation from God must also be in a place of His creation since He created all things.  Such a place is what we call hell.

To enter into the presence of God requires faith that Jesus conquered death, paid the price of our sins (the focus on self, not God -- for all sins are ultimately rooted in selfishness), and that He will intercede for us with God.  I am thankful to live in a state of grace.  I hope that any who read this also live in such a state.

Tomorrow's post will begin with the letter "H."  I welcome any suggestions as to the topic!


1 comment:

abbyr said...

Hi there. I met you at Ruth Chris steak house a month or so ago. Thank you for sharing this blog with us. I look orward to reading more. May the Lord lead us out of our works and into His grace more and more. Grace be with your spirit! -Phil 4:23