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Eye-Popping Grace

Grace is getting the good we don't deserve.

“And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work.”- 2 Corinthians 9:8

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Floyd Harris gave me the same reply every time I asked him how he was doing. It was his trademark saying: “Better than I deserve!” The first time he said it to me I was confused, so I asked him what he meant. He had a one-word answer. Grace. I have often used the “Floydian” reply myself, and I typically receive the same response that I gave to Floyd.
 
Even though Floyd shared that concept with me 20 years ago, I finally made grace my One Word for last year. I found out quickly that grace is a simple yet profound word. It was definitely a challenging but rewarding grace walk for 365 days!
 
Grace is everywhere. Being in the church my entire life, I have been around this word a lot. I memorized verses, sang hymns, heard sermons and read books. I bumped into grace often but rarely took time to unpack it. Yes, I know that grace is God’s lavish favor on undeserving sinners, but grace also redeems me, reforms me and rewards me—even though I don’t deserve it. God revealed to me that grace is not only amazing when we receive it, but it is also eye-popping when we give it.
 
Grace first needs to be received. Grace can only be experienced if we receive it. It is clear in Ephesians 2:8-9 that it is by grace that we are saved through faith. We don’t deserve to be saved, but it is God’s grace upon us that we can receive salvation. As a teenager, I experienced God’s grace when I surrendered my life to Him. I did absolutely nothing to deserve salvation. Zip. Zero. Nada. However, experiencing the fullness of grace is not a one-time experience at salvation. God’s grace is available to receive everyday. It is hard to swallow the fact that He actually rewards us for our puny efforts to serve and please Him. Plainly put, grace is getting the good we don’t deserve, and God wants us to experience His grace daily because He is good, gracious and generous. 
 
Grace needs to be given. Once we receive and experience grace, we must give it to others. This gets messy, because we usually want to give grace to those who deserve it, not to those who don’t. However, when I extend God’s grace to others, it becomes eye-popping, surprising grace. I have learned that giving God’s grace transforms me in two ways:
 

  1. Grace shatters a judgmental spirit.
    The Lord revealed to me that I put people into two boxes. The “Just-Like-Me” box, who are the people I like and gravitate toward. I will give them lots of grace. The “Not-Like-Me” box are people who I don’t understand and stay away from. I don’t offer them grace, which is judgmental. I am embarrassed how I judge people. The Lord painfully taught me all last year to extend grace to all. The same way He does. No picking and choosing who gets it. No boxes. Just extending the same grace I have received from Him. When I do that, grace becomes eye-popping.
     
  2. Grace unleashes a generous spirit.
    Max Lucado in his book Grace says, “Let grace unscrooge your heart. Grace walks in the front door and selfishness scampers out the back. It changes the heart.” When we extend amazing grace, it unleashes amazing generosity. We get to lavish favor on the undeserving by being the hands and feet of Jesus. This is when grace gets fun.

 
Grace changes us and others. Receiving grace is getting what we don’t deserve and giving grace is giving to others what they don’t deserve. Lord, thank you for the grace journey! 
 

Take Action:

  1. How has grace impacted your life?
  2. When do experience God’s amazing grace?
  3. How have you extended God’s grace? Is your heart unscrooged?

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