OK! So grace is generally described as “undeserved favor.” Grace then means we get what we don’t deserve and don’t get what we should have received. And grace from God steps in for the recipient because their life’s a mess. A mess full of sin. A mess of sin. And God hates that separation, the division that sin wedges between you and God.
Paul who understood grace better than most, knew what he deserved, but he also knew what he did not deserve but still got it anyway. On more than one occasion Paul relates where he was, how terrible of a sinner he was, how he deserved death, but instead, through faith in Christ Paul received life, 1 Timothy 1:15-16, http://www.biblegateway.com/.
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus come into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:12-16
Paul’s life was a mess. A mess of misunderstanding, misplaced devotion, misguided zeal, and he received grace from God through Jesus Christ. And there doesn’t seem to be a more grateful person. He knew what he was and he knew what he had received.
Go to http://shareyourstorynow.org/category/topics/grace/ and read over one hundred stories of people who have experienced and know God’s grace.
God’s grace cleans up our lives. I have encountered folks whose excuse for not becoming a Christian is that they feel that they have to clean up their own life, that they have to be better to be accepted by God. Yet God says, “I have grace, come to me just as you are and I will give you grace. I want to.” And God’s grace is like Service Pro. A cleaning service that comes in and cleans stuff up for us http://www.servpro.com/.
When we receive grace, God removes our sin, directs our path, provides us strength, and gives us love. I’m accepted! Now, how cool is that.
PS: Here is the video “Accepted” by Degramo and Key as performed at Cornerstone Music Festival in 2008. Advance to the 2:15 mark after Eddie’s intro where the song begins: