The Fragrance of Grace

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A song by Bebe and Cece Winans, called Grace numbs my human senses, shuts down my mind (1 Peter 1:13), and speaks to my heart. I AM, because of His grace. His grace carries me; in my weakness, His power is perfected. This consciousness makes my heart smile. Man may fail me, but He – looks not to the works of my hands, but to my heart, and loves me inspite of myself. If we were perfect, there would be no reason for Christ. Salvation is the first step towards perfection. What a glorious revelation.

Grace is often defined as unmerited pardon, however I believe this to be insufficient. The scope of meaning for the word grace is far greater than ‘undeserved forgiveness’ . The Bible is full of references to grace and these verses speak to building up, perfection, strength, favor and LIFE (salvation).

I wanted to have a deeper understanding of the word grace, and during my search, I came across a website, http://www.servantsnews.com, which had a write up by Loyd Hohertz called The meaning of Grace. It is a long write up that requires further study, however he gave bullet points, divided in three sections, that I will share with you.

Characteristics of Grace
~ Grace is a free will gift, not something that is coerced (Matt 10:8).
~ Grace always remains within the parameters of God’s law.
~ God’s grace always expresses love (John 3:16, Heb 2:9).
~ God’s Grace demonstrates His truth (John 1:17).
~ God’s grace encourages and empowers a Christian to do righteous works of grace (2Cor 9:8).
~ God’s grace promotes abundant living (John 10:10).
~ Thanks and praise, whether given to God or man, is a form of grace (Heb 13:15).
~ Sometimes the blessings of grace are obvious, at other times they are extremely hard to comprehend.
~ Sometimes the blessings of grace are received immediately; at other times they are a long time in coming.
~ God’s grace establishes His righteous character in Christians.
~ God’s grace provide for all aspects of salvation (Eph 2:8–10).

What Grace Is Not
~ Grace is never something given out of fear.
~ Grace is not a license to sin. The Apostle Paul makes this statement in Romans 6:1-2: “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”
~ Grace is not a license to vegetate by believing that all that is necessary is to have faith in Christ and let Him do all the work. In Philippians 2:12 the Apostle Paul writing to converted Christians says: “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Christ also tells us in Luke 13:24: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate…”
~ Grace is not selfish, but is given without expecting something in return. Christ’ instruction on this matter is found in Matthew 6:2: “Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”
~ The granting of God’s grace to an individual is not a guarantee that he/she will be in the first resurrection and the kingdom of God. Hebrews 12:15 gives this instruction (which is in part quoted from Deuteronomy 29:18): “see to it that no one falls short of the grace of God, and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many”.

Who Will Receive God’s Grace?
~ God gives grace to the humble (1Pet 5:10).
~ God gives grace to those that walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11).
~ God rewards those that diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6). God rewards by giving His gift of grace.
~ God gives grace to those that give grace (Matt 6:4).
~ God gives grace to those who obey Him: “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb 5:9). Titus 2:11 and other scriptures show that salvation comes about because of God’s and Christ’ grace.
~ God will give extra grace to the person who makes full use of the grace he has already received.

In your spare time, please do listen to this song by Bebe and Cece Winans, Grace. Release all inhibitions, and let your heart soar. The words are below:

Heaven knows I’ve done wrong; mercy helped me see I’ve been living a lie.
And while writing this song, thinking ’bout Your goodness I started to cry.
Yes, oh oh oh grace; what would I do without grace (do without grace)

Hide behind a painted smile; you lash out and sing while you’re spiritually die, yeah
There’s no need to sit in denial; He knows all about it and understands why (yes He does)
Oh oh oh grace (oh grace oh grace); what would I do without grace
Oh oh oh grace; where would I be, where would I be without grace

How can you love me still when I’ve done wrong (grace)
And how can I make it through this angry storm (oh grace)
Say oh oh oh grace; what would I do without Your grace
Oh oh oh grace; where would I be without grace (where would I be without grace)

What can make me whole in my soul (grace grace)
What can wash my sin (grace)
Say grace; what would I do without Your grace (couldn’t make it)

Tell you what lately I’ve learned; He picks me up whenever I’m down
(Have you ever been down? I’ve been down.)
Nothin’ I’ve done or can do can take away this love, this love that I’ve found

Oh oh oh grace (grace); what would I do, what would I do without grace
Oh oh oh grace; where would I be without grace

Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I’m found, I was blind but now I see

That’s why we say amazing; that’s why we sing amazing grace (I can’t move without it)
I can’t live without Your grace; thank You for Your grace.

xoxo #hugs #kisses #smiles

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