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Going Deeper—Gracious God (with Study Guide #6b)

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Dear Readers,

We appreciate gracious people, those who treat others with dignity and kindness. Public figures who exhibit graciousness gain a loyal following.

Imagine a popular celebrity you admire because of his classy interactions with the public. He does not act in brash or self-important ways but takes time for people, stops to hug a grandma or shakes hands with a homeless guy. When giving autographs or posing for pictures, he exhibits patience and chats with his fans.

Given such a grand picture, can you imagine what Jesus was like as a celebrity walking the streets of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago? In Him the essence of graciousness itself lived and walked among us. A celebrity can easily fake it, but God is the real deal.

Gracious God

grace

By Ruth Wood and Kay Smith

Performance. Achievement. “Do it right.” People driven in these ways have a difficult time with the word grace. Performance-oriented Christians may keep “grace” intellectualized, struggling to internalize its meaning. They know that God is gracious, but somehow they still feel they need to strive to please him.

For an overview of grace, consider these scriptures:

We are saved by grace.

. . . it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved . . . ~ Acts 15:11

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. ~ Ephesians 2:8-9

We are encouraged by grace, not by rules.

. . . It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. ~ Hebrews 13:9b

We receive grace in times of trouble or weakness.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ~ Hebrews 4:16

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

We serve by grace.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. ~ II Corinthians 8:9

We are blessed by grace.

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. ~ John 1:14

Of the many definitions in Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, the first talks about how grace is elegance of beauty seen in form, manner, motion or act. God’s “freely-given, unmerited favor and love” in Christ, is truly the most beautiful act ever done on our behalf.

An old hymn exudes the joy of grasping the nature of God’s grace:

Wonderful Grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin,
How shall my tongue describe it, where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden, setting my spirit free;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Wonderful grace, all sufficient for me, for even me.
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame,
O magnify the precious name of Jesus, praise His name!

©2013 Ruth Wood and Kay Smith. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Published by www.Comfort-Cafe.net. Contact info: ruthywood@gmail.com

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