He is the Grace Giver
“For it is by grace you have been saved,
Through faith- and this not of yourselves,
It is the gift of God-
Not by works, so no one can boast.”
Though we often sing Amazing Grace, it is my conviction that many of us don’t really understand, or live in the powerful truth of God’s grace. We have difficulty imagining that God is pleased with us. The performer in us wants to impress God with how “good” we are but, actually our performing does nothing but pull us away from God’s grace. Grace tells me, “I am fully known, loved, forgiven, empowered and pursued by God.”[i] As the Grace Giver, God knows everything about us, the good, the bad and the ugly. Yet, He loves and forgives us anyway. He doesn’t leave us there, instead He goes us to empower us through His Spirit and continues to pursue our hearts for the rest of our lives! Incredible huh?
What I have discovered in my journey to internalize God’s grace is the more I praise Him for His grace the more the Holy Spirit frees me from the “performance mentality”. The more I praise Him and say, “thank you” for His grace the more my heart is receptive to His grace. AS I praise Him my heart realizes and rests in the truth that he is completely pleased with me – in fact He couldn’t love me any more than He already does!
In your twenty minutes of praise today, focus on praising God for being The Grace Giver. Listen to music that exalts Jesus Christ for the grace that He offers. Let the music prompt your praise! Then, throughout the day put a mark (with a pen) on your hand every time you say to yourself, “I should, or I should have.” The word “Should” produces guilt and one of the joys of receiving god’s grace is that Romans 8:1 tells us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Every time you mark your hand because you said, “I should have” or, I shouldn’t have, immediately praise God for His grace. You will instantly feel the rush of His pleasure. If you do sin – not just measuring up to your own expectations but literally, sin against God by failing to keep one of His commands, ask for His forgiveness (I John 1:9) and then immediately praise Him that you have received His forgiveness, and that He has cleansed you from all unrighteousness. At the end of the day, wash your hands and praise God that His grace is complete. By consistently reminding yourself of God’s grace, and praising Him for His grace, I believe you will sin less because you will be so drawn to his love and forgiveness.
[i] Becky Harling Freedom From Performing (Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 2011), 18