“. . .But where sin abounded, Grace did much more abound.”
No wonder it’s called “Amazing.”
We speak much about it; the question is “Do we rest in it?” Although we define it as “The unmerited favor of God,” we know a more commonly-understood definition is “The Love of God that cannot be earned.”
Taken from the Greek word “charis,” which means “gracious, benefit, joy, pleasure, gratitude, etc.,” Grace is that condescending Love of God that reaches down to the sinful likes of you and me. It is a seeking Love. . .that pursues us before we ever think of seeking Him. It is a saving Love. . . that exchanges our wretchedness for His righteousness. It is a sanctifying Love . . .that transforms us from the inside out by Jesus’ indwelling Presence. It is a sustaining Love . . .that promises to “never leave us or forsake us” (Heb. 13:5b). It is a sufficient Love. . .that meets all of our needs in every way, teaching us “His strength is made perfect in our weakness” (II Cor. 12:9-10).
But, above all, it is an “abiding, abounding Love.”
Paul’s words in today’s Manna talk of God’s Grace, which the great hymn of faith calls “Marvelous Grace—Grace that is greater than our sin.” Hallelujah!! When we realize the Greek word “pleonazo” is used for “abound” and also means “to increase, be more and more, multiply, etc.,” we realize it perfectly describes our propensity for sin.
That’s why Paul said “Oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24).
But, thankfully he didn’t stop there. Thankfully he went on to “thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (v.25a), Who enables us “to walk in the Spirit, in which there is no condemnation” (Rom. 8:1). Glory!!
Does this mean we should live like we want because of God’s “abiding, abounding Grace”? A thousand times no (Rom. 6:1-2, 15-17). However, it does mean we should never take for granted this Love that knows everything about us, but still loves us just the same.
Why not spend a few minutes right now closing your eyes and picturing the Lord Jesus slowly walking toward you? What would be your reaction? Would your heart begin to race? Where there be a tightening in your chest? Would fears flood your mind as you think about Him knowing everything about you—all those evil thoughts that so often lurk there. . .those less than savory words that too often spring forth from your lips. . .those sinful deeds done when no one’s looking?
Or, would tears begin flowing down your cheeks as He tenderly cups your face in His nail-scarred Hands. . .lifts it up toward His Face. . . and peers deeply into your eyes as He says, “I love you, My child. Always have; always will. Give me your burdens. Come. Come rest in My arms. The journey’s long—but I’ll be here for you.” Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it? Welcome to God’s “Amazing, Abiding, Abounding Grace.”
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated November 28, 2009