“We are not here to prove God answers prayer; we are here to be living monuments of God’s grace.”~Oswald Chambers #MyUtmostforHisHighest
Do you want more grace in your life? Growing in grace will not just happen. Moreover, the journey to becoming a monument of God’s grace will not always feel pleasant or good all the time. Nevertheless, if we are open to the growth process, we will indeed come to find that we have been made better through the arduous (#nerdword) journey and that we are better equipped to accomplish all that God has divinely intended for our lives.
Grace is often defined as God’s unmerited favor or receiving what we do not deserve. This is true. Yet, more than that, grace is evidence that we’ve not only been with God but also that we’ve been changed through the experience of being with God. Some of us go through challenging, triumphant, electrifying or distressing experiences and yet remain unchanged. The reason we do not change is because we merely seek to get through or get over our experiences instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to truly come into us – our thoughts, words, emotions, actions – and make us more like Christ in the process. Our life experiences are designed to draw us closer to God and to align our character with that of Jesus Christ. It takes grace to go through life and not let life harden you. It takes grace to withstand the pressure to conform to the images that the world has set for you. It takes grace to be still and remain silent when there’s so much you want to do and say. It takes grace, grace and more grace to live this life in a way that makes a real difference.
Grace is not merely about us being favored, preferred and chosen by God. Being a recipient of God’s grace means that we have been remade to look, think and act like Christ. So, we bless when cursing is justified. We extend compassion in the face of blatant attacks. We forgive even without being asked and we consider the needs of others more than we cater to our own. Moreover, growing in grace allows us to stand up again after failure. It gives us strength to admit when we’ve been wrong; helping us to apologize and move forward in humility. Grace not only helps us to recover from our falls, but also to be accountable to the right people, so that a fall doesn’t happen. When we really understand the power and impact of grace, we will know that no failure, frailty or fault – of our own or another – is greater than God. To be a monument of God’s grace means that when people see and think of you, they will recall the goodness of Jesus Christ. God saves us by grace and sustains us through grace. God does this not just so we can know what God can do for us; but more importantly, so that we can show someone else what God can do for them.
Take a quick survey of your life. Think about the thing or the person with whom you are the most disappointed and unhappy. For some of us, that person is ourselves, but for others it may be a parent, sibling, spouse, friend or co-worker. Whatever it is that is disappointing you, today decide to apply grace to that situation. Determine to extend what is not owed or expected; go beyond what is comfortable. If you can do this, if I can do this, then we are on the right track to becoming a monument of God’s grace. This cannot be done without the help of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit; and thankfully, it doesn’t have to be. We don’t have to be superhuman to be a conduit of God’s grace. In fact, the more in tune we are with our own humanity the better able we will be to see our need for grace. The more we can see the immensity of our need, the better we can see and understand the needs of others.
There is an inexhaustible source of grace available to us all called Jesus Christ. If you ask Him, Christ will come into your heart; heal you, help you and make you better. And, if you’ve already asked Christ to live in you, won’t you be a monument of God’s grace; so that just like you, someone else can find their way to Christ?
“From His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace (John 1:16 (NRSV).