All of Grace
Grace is sometimes defined by the following acronym:
G - God's
R - Riches
A - At
C - Christ's
E - Expense
Commonly, it is defined* as...
1. simple elegance or refinement of movement
2. courteous goodwill
Technically, it is the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.*
The song NEW GRACE (by evangelist Tom Hayes) paints quite a beautiful picture of grace.
Consider the lyrics:
All of grace is my story
All the way from Earth to Glory
Since by grace He lifted me from sin and woe
Living grace He has extended
As on Him my heart depended
And He'll give new grace when it's my time to go.
There's been grace for every mile
There's been grace for every trial
There's been grace sufficient from His vast supply
Grace to make my heart more tender
Grace to love and pray for sinners
But there'll be new grace when it's my time to die.
Grace not yet discovered
Grace not yet uncovered
Grace from His bountiful store
Grace to cross the river
And grace to face forever
But there'll be new grace I've not needed before.
Old preachers called that "dying grace."
The apostle Paul addressed the nature of grace in Romans 11:6 (concerning what he called "the election of grace"). There he wrote, "If by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work."
Whatever grace is, it clearly excludes effort.
In greek it is the word charis, which carries with it the idea of God's favor and gifts, which He is more than happy to freely give (see for yourself by clicking here).
Anyway, back to the title: ALL OF GRACE.
My salvation is all of grace. I've done nothing to merit it. I've done nothing to earn it. I've done nothing to be worthy of it. It is a gift. I was lost, but Jesus found me. He saved me. He picked me up out of a horrible pit of sin and out of the miry clay of my own lousy human depravity. He set my feet on a solid foundation. He did it. He did it all for me. Well, for me; as for me, He did it all. My position in His family is all of grace.
My calling is all of grace.
Not only has He called me out of darkness and into His marvelous light, and established my goings (Psalm 40:2); He has commissioned me as a messenger of His saving grace to a world that is lost and dying. His decision to pick me (to speak for Him) was not based on any skill or competence in me. He did not look down from heaven and see such nobility in me that He "couldn't pass up the golden opportunity" to have me on His team. He chose me because of who He is, not because of who I am. If anything, He selected me and stamped His seal of service on me because of my obvious weakness. Clearly the glory and honor could not end up coming to me. All credit would have to go to Him. This made me particularly useful to Him. My INABILITY magnifies His grace and emphasizes His infinite ABILITY.
All blessings and benefits; all fruit and impact; every positive effect of any kind; every good thing accomplished in my life and ministry; in every case it is only and always a complete product of God's goodness. It is all of grace.
When I close my eyes in death and angels carry my soul into the glorious revealed presence of my Savior, it will be all of grace. I will have earned nothing.
If and when golden crowns are handed to me at the great judgment seat of Christ, I will surely be quick to place them in there proper place: at the feet of the One who loved me and gave His life for me. I will chant humbly with all other saints, "You are worthy, not me. You were slain for my salvation, not me. You and You alone should be receiving any and all glory and honor and reward. The power is Yours and Yours alone. My place here in YOUR HEAVEN and in YOUR KINGDOM is all of grace. It is only because of Your pleasure and goodwill that I have anything or have done anything."
It is God who works in us. In both the surprising willingness of our stubborn hearts, and the feeble good deeds of our fallen hands, God is the doer of our every righteous deed.
Concerning the unknown number of days that I have remaining to walk this earth, let me quote the very famous Bobby Brown in his best singing voice, "Every little step I take, You will be there." God will be there. My whole life leaves only one set of tracks in the sand. And those footprints aren't mine. The Savior has carried me all the way. Not just in the hard times either. It has all been all of grace. And it always will be, all of grace.
To God be the glory!
*basic definitions from the Dictionary app, Version 2.3.0 (268), Copyright © 2005–2020 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.