Grace Isn't Flowery


Let us then approach God’s 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

I struggle with the concept of grace. Perhaps it’s because I was raised in the church. For most of my life, grace has been a flowery term that sounded good on paper, but never struck a chord in my heart.

I have always loved the Lord. I loved Him innocently as a child, obediently as an adolescent, but fearfully as an adult. And not the religious type of fear. I knew that Jesus loved me, but a subconscious part of me always believed that I got on His nerves. And when I struggled with sin, or my heart got broken, I pushed Him away and told myself that I deserved it. That my pain was His way of punishing me. I didn’t understand grace.

And maybe on this side of Heaven I will never fully understand it. It wasn’t until I saw the movie The Heart of Man last month that I started to “get” it. The movie beautifully portrayed the love of the Father for us through the story of the Prodigal Son. It made me realize that the Lord isn’t frustrated with me, He actually enjoys me.

And that is grace. It isn’t obligatory to the Father. It’s something He willingly does. The Bible says He literally lavishes it upon us (Ephesians 1:7-8).

Grace is the powerful pursuit of the Father. It’s Him choosing us, knowing we might never choose Him back. It’s picking up the pieces of our broken hearts even though He wasn’t the one who caused them. It’s a kind of love that sits on the edge of our bed and wipes our tears. It’s His posture of empathy, not condescendence. Grace is picking us up off the ground and letting us try again. It’s the face of the Father looking down at us patiently as we promise to never do “it” again. It’s Him loving us just as much when we do.

Grace isn’t flowery. It’s wild and it’s fierce and it draws us back to the heart of the Father. It’s Him freely giving Himself to us, no strings attached.

God has seen our unloveliness - the deep brokenness and rebellion in our hearts - and instead of withdrawing, He pursues us to the beautiful end. He made an eternal commitment to sinners because of His great love for us. And because grace is true, you can face the world with all of its dangers and troubles, knowing you have been established forever as blameless by the Holy groom, Jesus Christ. - Matt Chandler

Reflection

1. What does grace mean to you? Is it something that seems unordinary or generic to you? I encourage you to write down what comes to mind, and then replace it with what the Bible says about grace. (Hebrews 4:16, 2 Peter 1:2, Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 2:11, Romans 6:14)

2. When have you truly felt the grace of God over your life? Did you struggle to accept it?

3. How can you become more confident in the Lord’s grace over your life today?

Prayer

Lord, thank You that You are a God of grace. That You lovingly pursue us and gracefully invite us in. Thank You for Your mercy upon us. That You chase after us and don’t leave us as You found us. We are so thankful that we are not a burden to You. Help us to believe that truth fully with our hearts. It is Your grace that leads us to repentance, and ultimately to You. We love You. Amen.

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