Thursday, June 15, 2006

Grace Appearing

Grace has appeared, time and time again. In fact, every time God shows His hand, every time God reveals Himself, it is an act of grace. Since the highest possible good is to have a glimpse of God, then for God to pull back the curtain just a bit, it is an act of grace.

God has done this is creation. We can see God’s grace as we use the senses built into our own frames. Through our own eyes, created by God, we have a window on the world that is, in large part, an expression of God’s grace.

Why do I say, “in large part?” Is not all the world completely an expression of God’s grace? No, because it has been marred by sin. And so what we see, and the very eyes with which we see, hold deceptions and hide glory. And so we stand in need of God’s grace again – not as uncreated ones – He has already done that – but now as unredeemed ones. We stand in need of the grace of redemption so that we might one day enjoy fully the grace revealed in the new creation.

But – and there seems always to be a “but” – we resist His redeeming grace. We think we can fix things ourselves, or we prefer to live independently, foolishly thinking that we can live better apart from His grace.

And then, God’s grace appears anyway. He keeps working, often so subtly, in ways that we would not expect. He softens our heart with a trial. He invades our thoughts through a poem or a song. He corrects our thinking through a children’s lesson, and chastises our stubbornness with a memory from the distant past. In surprising ways, when we least expect it, God’s grace appears.

This is analogous to grace’s greatest appearing, when Jesus was born and placed in a feed trough. The Savior came as a Servant, and the King was treated as a criminal. The power of God’s grace was manifested in great weakness, and when we saw the glory of God’s grace in the sacrifice of His Son, and our pride was busted, our hearts were melted. We became captives, no longer of sin, but of God’s great grace.

“Grace, grace – God’s grace;
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt . .”

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