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The Grace of God

Roof shingles make great frisbees, or so I thought as a child. While walking through our neighborhood with a friend, I saw one laying on the road, picked it up and gave it a good throw. It flew well but unfortunately wound up hitting a window, causing it to shatter. For reasons I still don’t fully know my friend took the blame and paid for the broken window. I was the recipient of unwarranted grace.

Have you ever experienced grace after doing something wrong?

grace

Photo Credit: davidyuweb (cc)

A greater One

John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ ” (John 1:15)

In antiquity chronological priority meant superiority. John indicates a reversal in the case of John the Baptist and Jesus. Till Jesus came the Baptist occupied center stage. He who came later was “far greater” than the forerunner.

Before the Baptist

Though Jesus appeared on earth after John the Baptist, He actually existed before him, from eternity. Jesus was before John, even though His earthly birth was later. The preexistence of Jesus shows superiority.

Blessings in Christ

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. (John 15:16)

Christ is the source of all blessings. God’s grace is continuous and is never exhausted.

Grace has no interruptions and knows no limit.”

No one knows where grace will lead, what blessings will come, and what challenges will occur. Grace means an ever deepening experience of the presence and power of God.

The Law

For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. (John 15:17)

The first five books of the Old Testament were divinely given to Moses. The Law made a way for sin to be forgiven through sacrifice and gave instruction for living. People, however, began to think they could earn a relationship with God by doing good. Everyone falls short, no one is perfect.

Truth and Grace

The Law points to Jesus, the Messiah. “If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me.” (John 5:46) Jesus came bringing God’s truth and grace to the world. Everyone falls short of fulfilling the Law yet Jesus offers grace, including forgiveness and new life. Changes begin and the Law is fulfilled by grace, showing the evidence of salvation by obedience.

On the cross

Jesus died as the Substitute for our sin. God knew the totality of our sins and placed them on Jesus. Although people deserve the holy wrath of God, Jesus paid the penalty. Jesus offers grace upon grace; an unending, loving, merciful, affection for the children of God.

Seeing God

No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. (John 15:18)

God has never been fully seen. Moses partially viewed Him (Exodus 24:9-11) but God’s essential being could not be revealed. God is present but physical eyes do not detect him. Jesus makes God known personally. If someone wants to see God, look to Jesus. He is a clear picture of Him.

The life and words of Jesus are a revelation of God’s love and purpose for mankind.

The challenge

Receive God’s gift of grace and truth. Learn about God by looking at Jesus. He perfects faith.

In what ways has God made Himself known to you? Share your comments below.

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Comments

  1. Patricia Lohr says:

    Hi Zach,
    Our church made it’s first trip to Israel in July. We spent a couple days at your school. I miss those daily devotions. I have been a lifelong Christian and over the past several years have expressed the desire to go to Israel. My trip was truly God given, all pieces falling into place. While in Israel there were three powerful ways that God revealed himself to me. I was lucky enough to be able to capture these moments in pictures. God often speaks through nature which is one reason I love the phrase “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me”.
    The first, which was at your school, I just happened to look up at the sky and a solitary cloud in the perfect shape of a ‘J’ was above us. By the time the picture was snapped the cloud had relaxed some but I could still see the ‘J’ for either Jesus or Jerusalem.
    The second was at our start of the Via Delorosa. While sitting on a bench I was looking at the stone walkway. In one of the stones a picture of a joyful child with a profile of Jesus next to her was evident to me. I showed our group, some of which saw it, some didn’t, and I took a picture of this also.
    The third on our last day of the tour in the Garden Tomb, I was drawn to sit and look over the garden while listening to music. My eyes traveled upward to a tree with branches in the shape of the symbol for ‘El Shaddai’.
    I wasn’t looking for these, they were God’s gift to me during that trip to remind me that He is ever present in my life. Those pictures adorn my living room wall with the verse “If they remain silent, even the stones will cry out”.
    I had been dealing with regrets and sadness for decisions in my life that I didn’t seek God’s will and things went terribly wrong. But Grace wins, always. Thank you God!

  2. Patricia, I’m glad your trip to Jerusalem was meaningful. God’s desire is to have a personal relationship with His entire creation and to make Himself powerfully known. May He continue to reveal Himself in your life!