‘From the fullness of his grace, we have all received one blessing after another’ (John 1:16)
One of the most succinct definitions of grace given has been ‘God’s unmerited favor’. Grace is commonly and appropriately best explained in the context of salvation granted to man. But grace goes right to the heart of God and is key to understanding the relation between man and God.
The difference between God and man is the former’s infinite abilities and the latter’s limitation. That is the way we have been created. We do not share our creator’s infinite abilities, yet we do share an element of his nature- the image of God within man. This image of God creates within us infinite desires. But trapped in a body that is limited, the infinite yearnings of the soul do not find fulfillment. Frustration results and meaninglessness ensues, robbing man of the richness of life that beckons only to elude. Be it the desire for perfection or the unwillingness to face death, this tension is a constant accompaniment of man’s life.
But there are no impossibilities with God, rather a fullness of potential and a fullness of actuality. Grace is the element that bridges the fullness of God with the limitation of man. It is the resource that enables man to overcome the limitations that are enforced on him, yet rise to fulfill his eternal longings. It is like a parent holding a child’s arms and enabling him to walk, taking him to places he could never go by himself. The motive for this resource is the love arising from a personal God. He intensely loves man irrespective of man’s background. His hand is always stretched out and with it the element of grace that is freely available.
Grace also creates within man an element of dependence on God. By accepting grace, man declares his submission to his maker and in choosing grace, rises to fulfill his potential. At the heart of man’s dealing with God is the necessity to submit- not an unreasonable demand because there is no other way for the finite man to overcome his finiteness but to take the hand of the One who has no limitations. The first step in that submission process is to receive God’s gift of salvation through Christ.
When we first went on a major international travel, our three children were below 6 years. Their inability to undertake a major trip was however easily overcome because they were included as children along with my wife and I. All they needed to do was to submit to us and be carried along.
Grace beckons, God beckons, abundance beckons, but the choice is yours and mine.
- BECOMING INSTRUMENTS OF HEALING
- THE EPITOME OF GRACE