The dictionary defines grace as "the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings." The bible says that we are all saved by the grace of God (Acts 15:11). It is one thing to know this as head knowledge but I think that once you truly understand this as how God has shown grace to you in your own life you come to a whole new place in your Christian walk.
I have been a Christian now for about 7 years. I don't remember exactly when I asked Jesus into my heart but this was when I was baptized and when I truly started living for Him so that is the date I use. I have grown a lot in that time but I think have always been a bit "religious" about my faith. Works were fairly important to me and I'll be honest, probably more important that actually developing a relationship with my Heavenly Father. I could never really grasp that concept of how to have a relationship with Him. Not that I didn't want it, I just didn't know how to develop and maintain it. So instead of investing my time in figuring that out, I just got more involved in service and ministry opportunities in the church. I convinced myself that this was all good and that I did have a relationship with God and that it would surely grow deeper over time and I would get it someday. Essentially I convinced myself that it wasn't my fault somehow - as if that would help me when I stand before God one day. I fell for the "good person" belief.
In my quest for weight loss I came across an online study called The Lord's Table (I highly recommend it by the way if you are struggling with addiction of any kind). I always knew that I needed God's help to lose weight so this appealed to me right away. Well, I got a lot more than I bargained for! The weight loss is secondary to the heart change that is happening to me. I am actually aware of the fact that I truly was (and am) a sinner and that it is by nothing except God's grace that I am forgiven and saved. The fact of the matter is that I was a glutton. (Yup, that is a sin, people. It isn't genetics or just something to be brushed under the rug. It is sin, plain and simple.) So many people, especially nowadays when so much of the population is either overweight or obese, think that it just an irritating thing that needs to be dealt with IF you are ready to do it. I was the same way. I thought I just didn't have enough self-control and that's what I needed to pray for - just more self-control. If I had self-control then I could stick with a diet and exercise long enough to reap the results. While this is true, I needed to come to the realization that I needed God's forgiveness first and I needed to see how much I was living outside of His will. Knowing that I am a sinner that needs His grace and mercy just as much as any other sinner has really opened my eyes. I don't just want to be a good person anymore...I want to be a GOD person.
Life has taken on a whole new meaning for me with just this tip of revelation I have received. I daily think about His grace and what it means in my life. All the years that I continued in this sin of gluttony and living overweight I have been living in sin. But God has just been waiting patiently for me to come running to Him and has forgiven me! He has forgiven me! I am forgiven! And I understand just how amazing that grace is each time I stumble into sin again. I am amazed and thankful for it but I don't want to take it for granted.
No matter where you are at in your walk with God, I think this is a great place to dwell. If you haven't received a revelation of our Father's grace, ask Him. Ask Him to show you what it means in your life. It will be hard to see if you think of yourself as a "good person" as I did but it is such an amazing, humbling experience that will bring you and the Lord closer together if you persevere and keep pressing in. I pray that He keeps revealing Himself to me more and more in this light.
"For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!" Romans 6:14-15
Grace and peace to you today!