Grace. Something I claim to have very little of. Grace. In the sense of agility, dexterity, and elegance, that is. If it's invisible, I"ll trip over it. If it's only half full, I will find a way to spill it. If it's not even near the edge, I will still manage to knock it onto the floor. And, then? Then, it will break. Not being graceful is easy to spot when it stains your blouse and bruises your knees.
Sometimes Grace is quite simply black and white. Take the Grace Period that extends the due date of a credit card bill. Should we pay our bill by the date allotted to us by this Grace Period, we accrue no further late fees or interest or financial consequences. We are accutely aware of this Grace Period and know precisely what will happen if we cross the line. One day beyond the Grace Period and we are riding the financial horse straight into Debt Town.
Grace Periods are an interesting creature. Wikipedia defines it like this: "A grace period is a period immediately after the deadline for an obligation during which a late fee, or other action that would have been taken as a result of failing to meet the deadline, is waived provided that the obligation is satisfied during the grace period...A grace period is a time period during which a particular rule exceptionally does not apply, or only partially applies." (Wikipedia)
Put more simply, we are given something we did not deserve, nor did we earn. It is an extension bestowed upon us by the powers that be, for no other apparent reason than to give us another chance, a longer period of time, to pay our debts.
Sound familiar? It ought to. In Hebrews 4:16 we read, "let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." The difference between that honorary Grace Period on our monthly statements and God's grace is that the nearer we come to the deadline, the more giving He is of His grace toward us.
Friends, we deserve nothing from God. God does not owe us anything. Anything good that we experience is a result of the grace of God (Ephesians 2:5). Grace is simply defined as unmerited favor. God favors, or gives us good things that we do not deserve and could never earn.
Loved ones, God's grace is given to us freely, openly, and undeservedly. We blur the lines of HIs Grace when we accept it with one hand and try to protect it by covering it with the other hand. We suffocate and smother the very Grace that God extended to us when His full purpose for it was for us to extend it to others. You cannot receive the abundant Grace He has in store for you until you open your hand and share His already given Grace with others. There are no blurred lines about Grace in His word.
Who do you know that needs an extended Grace Period today? As Christ has extended undeserved Grace toward each of us, let us mimic the actions of Him and waive the fee, far after the deadline has come and gone.