March 23, 2010

A God of Grace JAMES 1:17-18

The Lord’s character is often distorted by the world. To unbelieving eyes, God can appear as a harsh ruler who is quick to condemn any disobedience. Somehow that false view has infected our churches as well. There are believers who approach the Lord as if He were a stingy old man doling out shreds of love, grace, and forgiveness. But spiritual poverty is not the Father’s plan for His children!

At salvation, we received every good gift that God intends to give us: forgiveness, redemption, righteousness, a place in His family, and much more. There is a misguided notion among some believers that the Lord’s grace to us increases as our faith matures. If that were accurate, we would be earning His blessing though works. The truth is that spiritual growth broadens our capacity to recognize and enjoy His grace in our lives.

Sadly, plenty of people feel unworthy to enjoy the Lord’s blessings. Thankfully, we do not have to merit His goodness, because none of us would be able to do so. In fact, Ephesians 2:8-9 underscores the fact that God operates on the basis of His grace rather than our works. Think of how big, wide, and deep His love is—He adores, blesses, and showers us with grace because He wants to and not because we earn it.

Our heavenly Father is not stingy. He opens His hand wide to pour out grace upon us. Instead of sampling meager bites of His Word and His presence on Sunday, we ought to devour whole “meals” every day. Follow the psalmist’s advice to “taste and see that the LORD is good” (v. 34:8).