“(They) continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and much grace was upon them all.”
C.S. Lewis once said there is one key difference between Christianity and every other religion. It’s found in a simple word: Grace. Have you ever stopped to ponder what that everyday word means to you?
Let’s look at Man as a race for a moment. Just step back and consider this race’s history.
We began as a perfect creation. When God made all things, Man, Adam and Eve, were his crowning achievement. He spoke the galaxies into place but, He formed man and breathed His own spirit into them. God did that with no other thing in all of creation.
We had unbroken fellowship with God. Adam and Eve had it all. They enjoyed a utopia and the world was in harmony. There was no need, no evil, no danger. This is what Man as a race had at the very beginning.
Through a deception we fell. That unity was lost in a moment and we received a fallen nature. That became Adam and Eve’s legacy for us. I know, we all would like to give them a piece of our mind but, what was done was done.
Ever since that point, from man’s perspective, we have been trying to live life. We want to discover our purpose and our place in the whole scheme of things. Many people have tried to make their impact on the world, leave their mark, or discover answers but, it comes down to one simple thing.
We were made for God and His pleasure. He created a void in our hearts that can only be filled with Him. That has been our struggle all along. Until that place is restored to what it was intended for, it will be a place of chaos. It’s a vacuum that is never satisfied.
Let’s say a man or woman sees their need for God. It’s a call that’s always there. We try to better ourselves and do the right thing. Maybe we discover a group of people who think the same thing and we try to please God in our own efforts.
Here is the trouble with that. We have a sinful nature we were born with. No matter what I do, I can’t remove that nature. The end result of having that nature is death: separation from God forever. Truly, even the best man this race could produce on its own isn’t going to do what it takes.
That’s a very sobering though, right?
That’s where Grace blows the lid off this whole dilemma. Grace is something given that we cannot earn but we can accept. The Bible calls it the free gift of God given though Christ. I have heard a really cool acronym for Grace that speaks to me: God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense. (I have probably used it before but it doesn’t get old. It’s true.)
God loved us and we are the most precious thing in all His creation. He would tax Heaven and Earth to bring us back to Himself. He gave Himself, His perfect nature in the person of Jesus Christ. He died, which is the payment for our sinful nature, and is offering us His own life.
Grace means you have to accept that death as your own. You have to accept the life He has to offer you in exchange. Grace means that you have that relationship restored as it was in the beginning. It’s like the Newsboys song that says, It’s good when we get what we don’t deserve (grace) and good to not get what we deserve (death)
I pray that you will answer that stirring in your heart. That’s the truth knocking on your heart. Maybe you have been trying to avoid God all this time and you’re tired. Maybe you’ve been pursuing God in your own strength and it’s wiped you out. Please consider the audacious grace that God has provided for you. I have been in both camps and let me tell you, understanding the meaning of grace is something words cannot describe. I hope I have broken it down the best I understand and I’ll let the Lord help you with the rest.