Words from the journal today, back to define “grace” — something we often don’t define well. This is a reposting of a blog I wrote years ago, in 2015, that started with words right from this journal:
For years, I cheapened grace to a coat of paint. I kept my chains, my prison cell, my strongholds. But I painted them gold and called it grace. Cold grace. Harsh grace. One-coat grace.
Grace that I limited. squandered. used.
That’s not grace. That’s not grace at all.
Grace is not a coat of paint. It is not to be used to make things appear better than they really are.
No, grace makes things how they were always meant to be.
Grace doesn’t make chains fashionable. Grace fashions freedom for us that fully and forever breaks our chains. Grace doesn’t make our prison cells livable. Grace opens the doors for us so we can get out and really live. Grace doesn’t say, “Remember where you’ve been. Remember what you’ve done.” Grace says, “Look at what lies ahead. Remember what He’s done.”
Grace says, “Lift your gaze to the God whose eyes are alive with His love for you.”
The one-coat grace I believed in—it says, “He loves you, but…” Do better. Be more. Cry less. Listen harder. Feel better.
Grace says, “He loves you.”
God did not send His Son and allow Him to die for a bunch of worthless people. People who were set against him, yes. But not worthless. People don’t die for worthless causes.
People lay down their lives for something or someone they believe in.
And God believed that we were more than enemies. That we had worth, value, and deserved something more than a mere exchange of grace for sin, good for bad. God believed us worthy of fellowship, of communion with Himself, and He made that possible for us, out of immense love and delight for “a people not a people”, a people not His own, and out of a wealth of grace—bursting from His heart as that stone rolled away from the tomb that tried to silence its voice, crying out:
“You are worthy of His love.”
Grace makes us worthy.
Grace is not gold paint meant to be slathered onto the worst parts of you. Grace takes the worst of you out of you, and gives you the best of itself. Grace makes you the best.
Grace makes you the gold: the precious gleam in your Father’s eyes that brings you through the fire not to test your devotion but to refine your dependence.
Listen to Grace’s voice:
Grace says, “God’s not getting tired of calling your name. He’s not frustrated or upset with you. He’s not shaking His head at you.”
Grace says, “Depend on Him.” Dependence doesn’t take strength or effort or good vibes. Dependence takes grace. And grace is free. Unlimited. Given.
Grace says, “He is enough.”
Cold, harsh, one-coat grace looks up to a stern face and says, “But God, I’m worthless.”
Grace kneels down to us and says, “No, child, you’re mine.”