But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV
God’s grace has not nor ever will be wasted.
The Message gives us some insight into Paul’s writing, “But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I’m not about to let His grace go to waste . . . It was God giving me the work to do, God giving me the energy to do it.” (1 Cor 15:10-11 MSG)
The same grace that saves us, is the same grace that gives us strength, security and sanctification.
Grace Is Pardon. A. W. Tozer wrote, “The cross is the lightning rod of grace that short-circuits God’s wrath to Christ so that only the light of His love remains for believers”. God gives grace and we get God. It’s His love in our lostness. It’s His will and not our work. Paul tells us “God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” (Eph 2:8-9 NLT). There is no more penalty . . . only pardon.
Grace Is Power. Piper writes, “It is not simply the pardon of his sins, it is the power to press on.” Often, weakness makes us waiver. After begging God three times to take away a burden, the apostle Paul accepted it as a blessing. He embraced a weakness and exchanged it for a win. He writes, “But He [God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor 12:9 ESV)
Grace Is Peace. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Rom 5:1-2 ESV). We stand in grace and not grief. Our hope drives us to live beyond our painful past, our perplexing present and holding in to our promised peace. Piper encourages us, “The only life I have left to live is future life. The past is not in my hands to offer or alter. It is gone. Not even God will change the past. All the expectations of God are future expectations. My hope for future goodness and future glory is future grace.”
Ted Loder reminds us that God hears us with ears of grace even if our words are not graceful,
“How shall I pray? Are tears prayers, Lord? Are screams prayers, or groans, or sighs, or curses. Can trembling hands be lifted to You? Or clenched fists? Or the cold sweat that trickles down from my back? Or the cramps that knot my stomach? Will you accept my prayers, Lord, my real prayers, rooted in the muck and mud and rock of my life, and not just the pretty, cut-flower, gracefully arranged bouquet of words? Will you accept me, Lord, as I really am, a messed up mixture of glory and grace?”
His grace gives of pardon, power and peace . . . and, His grace welcomes us into His presence.
We don’t earn it. We don’t deserve it. We really need it. We just accept it.
It is amazing. It is defining.