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Monday, October 14, 2013

What does "grace" really mean?

This last week in church we investigated the real meaning of the word "Grace".  It's a word people use frequently but I really believe that it's true meaning has been lost.   "Grace" actually has two separate meanings, the first has to do with how we move our bodies physically, and the second has to do with how God chooses to deal with us.  The second meaning was the focus for this weekend.  

To Illustrate this definition I had Nita walk into the center of the Sanctuary holding a $20 bill in her hand.  As she did I told everyone that the $20 represented grace.  Then I shared  Ephesians 2:8,9;  "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."  Once you read this can you tell what Grace is?  Can you figure out where I was headed with the illustration?  As I read the verse Nita continued standing in the middle of the room holding up the $20 bill.  I repeated that today Grace was a $20 bill.  No one moved.  Next I read Ephesians 2:8,9 again but this time I removed the statements between the commas.  So it read like this, "For by Grace you have been saved through is the gift of God..."  Is the illustration becoming clearer to you?  No one in the room moved to claim the gift either.  So I continued with the exercise by explaining that Grace is another way to say "free gift", that God's Grace is His Kingdom and that He wants us to live with Him forever.  I told everyone that for today my example of grace was a twenty dollar bill.  Still no one moved.  I asked again, "What is Grace?"  Many voices at once repeated,  "A twenty dollar bill!"   I said, "Good! What else is Grace?"  Everyone repeated, "It's a free gift!"  So, I motioned toward the bill in Nita's hand.  Still no one moved.  We repeated that scenario probably 2 or 3 times.  Me asking the questions, "What is grace?" and, "What is the twenty dollar bill?" and everyone giving the same answer, that it is a, "free gift".  Suddenly there was a rush of kids that moved to claim the free gift from Nita's hand. 

The $20 bill was a gift for anyone that was willing to claim it just as Gods grace is a free gift for anyone willing to claim it.  No one there deserved it or had worked for it yet it was still there to be had by anyone who was willing to claim it for themselves.  God's gift of "Grace" to us is to live on forever in a better life than this one.  We just need to claim it.