Tony The Tiger, famous spokes-tiger for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes is renowned for his booming description of his favorite cereal, “Theeeey’re Grrrrrrrreat!” It’s hard to think of a more heart-felt endorsement. But I’m going to try.
God is so much more than great. When we pray through the Navigator’s tool “30 Days of Praying the Names and Attributes of God,” we begin to get a sense of God. Almighty, All-present, All-knowing, righteous, holy, and the list goes on. We’re blown away when we begin to consider the God of the Universe and where we stand in comparison.
Yet, the one attribute of His character that sets me off is the one we’re praying through today.
quoting from the Navigator tool:
God is full of Grace.
Grace is God’s good pleasure that moves Him to grant merit where it is undeserved and to forgive debt that cannot be repaid.
He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight… Ephesians 1:5–8
Often, we hear and talk so much about grace in our lives – especially around our church lives, that we never really think about its meaning. If we take a moment and really think about what Grace means, we should start sounding like Tony The Tiger.
Think of it. This amazing mighty God is set apart in His holy, sinless character and we – well, we are a different story altogether. A good description of mankind’s mindset is found in God’s word…
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19–21
If we’re honest, all of us have at least some of these nasty character flaws. It’s called the sin nature. If a loving yet holy God wants to have a personal relationship with somebody like us, what tools are available to Him?
The first thing God uses to establish that fellowship with you and me is “Mercy.” In His mercy He provides His own Son, Jesus, to die for our sins…
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5
Mercy – there’s another great word we use a lot but perhaps haven’t really thought about and appreciated in our lives.
The second thing God uses to give us a living, moment-by-moment relationship with Him is “Grace.” Let’s go back to the book of Ephesians and look at some very rich verses that share what’s up with God’s Grace:
even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; Ephesians 2:5–8
Let me leave you with a simple definition of these two important truths:
Mercy is NOT getting what we DO deserve… what we’ve earned with our sin natures.
Grace IS getting what we DON’T deserve… and can never earn.
Freely getting what I don’t deserve in spite of my laziness, failure, frustration, and disappointment? That’s not just great – Thaaaat’s Grrrrrrrrrrrace!! And nothing beats it.
Think about it…