Grace Recipient / Grace Giver - Reflections

September 5, 2018 | Didi Bacon

There are two aspects of God’s grace. The first aspect has to do with identity or status. This is the part we tend to focus on the most. This aspect of God’s grace is all about Jesus’ work on the cross and the empty tomb. Jesus died to pay for our sins. He rose from the dead to nullify the death penalty due to all of us who break God’s law. Because of this great gift of love from God, we can be made right with God through faith in Jesus. Our identity changes from the enemy of God to the child of God. Our status changes from guilty due to pay the penalty to guilty but set free of the penalty because it has been paid. Paid by Jesus, the Son of God. This is the first part of grace. There are two aspects of God’s grace. The first aspect has to do with identity or status. This is the part we tend to focus on the most. This aspect of God’s grace is all about Jesus’ work on the cross and the empty tomb. Jesus died to pay for our sins. He rose from the dead to nullify the death penalty due to all of us who break God’s law. Because of this great gift of love from God, we can be made right with God through faith in Jesus. Our identity changes from the enemy of God to the child of God. Our status changes from guilty due to pay the penalty to guilty but set free of the penalty because it has been paid. Paid by Jesus, the Son of God. This is the first part of grace.  

The second part of grace has to do with living. It has to do with calling. As a child of God, we are invited into the family business. We are assigned a family chore. The agent of this part of grace is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Jesus who walks with us in life “gifts” us to share with others. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. As grace recipients of God’s grace, we become agents of God’s grace. Grace receivers become grace givers.  

The Apostle Paul was a man totally taken by grace. As Saul he dedicated himself to destroying the church of Jesus. His motives were sincere, he thought he was serving God. But he was sincerely wrong. But then he came face to face with the resurrected Jesus. He found forgiveness for his offenses. But he also came alive in his calling to be Jesus’ man to take the message of grace to the gentile world. Part one and part two of God’s gift of grace. Read how Paul pours out his heart about this to his son in the faith Timothy.  

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, 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 came 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 immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:12-17 (NIV)

This past Sunday we dedicated our worship services to celebrate God’s grace. To celebrate Mount Carmel Christian Church grace recipients being grace givers. It was good to give thanks to God for the honor to bless others with the gifts He has given to us - at Matthew 25 Ministries, at the Inter-Parish Ministries food pantry, at Vacation Bible School, at Junior High Camp, in Discipleship groups, Small groups and Bible Fellowships, at our 50 year anniversary celebration, in our Houston Mission trip, in our prayer ministry…the list goes on. It was a testimony and a reminder to live by grace. Both aspects of grace. Be a grace recipient by faith. Be a grace giver by faithfulness. Remember the proclamation we made at the end of service:

Because of Christ Jesus my Lord, I can:
Be a recipient of God’s grace
Be a giver of God’s grace

Be forgiven by God
Be a forgiver like God

Be one who is loved by God
Be one who loves like God

Be one who has been given heavenly life
Be one who lives like I belong to heaven 

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