Text: Romans 6: 1-2, 1 Cor 5:10, 2 Cor 12: 9
Divine grace is the freely given, undeserved or unmerited goodwill, favour, mercy, privilege and love of God towards humans. It is the gift of God by which He extends His loving kindness and salvation to people. Grace is one of the characteristics of God and it is unlimited, infinite, abundant and it is in sufficient quantities.
It is by His grace that you are saved, that your sins are no more remembered and you become son and no more slave. It is a gift received at Christ's expense. Grace of God nurtures in you a desire to do good always and it makes ordinary people to become extraordinary. If there is anything to ask and pray for it should be 'divine grace'. This is because mercy, love, power, favour, forgiveness and salvation are embedded in it.
Romans 16:20 says, "The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you." You need the grace of God always. No one can successfully run the christian race without the grace of God. It is by the divine grace that Paul, a former persecutor of believers, became an apostle and was set apart for the gospel of God after conversion. Paul said in 1 Cor 15: 10, "But by the grace of God I am what I am and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them - yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me." He said in 1 Tim 1: 14, "The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly,along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Paul was sprinkled and showered with grace. God even said His grace is sufficient for Paul as recorded in 2 Cor 12: 9. Hence all his letters to the saints always start with " Grace, mercy and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us consider some characters in the scriptures and see how divine grace was made available to them.
MARY MOTHER OF JESUS. In Luke 1: 28-31, Mary enjoyed uncommon grace among all the women of her time. Grace of God was made available to her. Hence she was specially chosen and highly favoured by God. The scripture says in Luke 1:28, "And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail,thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women". Verses 30-31, "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary for thou hast found favour with God". And behold, thou shall conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son and shall call his name Jesus. Verse 35 says, "And the angel answered and said unto her the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also, that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the son of God". The mother of Jesus could have been some one else but God 's grace was bestowed upon Mary. Forever, Mary will be remembered because the grace of God has made her to become extraordinary and outstanding among all women.
THE ADULTEROUS WOMAN. John 8: 1-12.This woman enjoyed unusual grace from Jesus. It was customary in the land that any woman cut in the act of adultery should be stoned to death according to Moses Law. But instead of condemnation, she received pardon. To those gathered and ready to stone her to death, her pardon was unusual. This could only be by divine grace. When Jesus said in verse 7, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." They left one by one until Jesus was left alone with her. Jesus said to her, "woman where are those thine accusers? Hart no man condemned thee? In verse 11, "she said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more". God's grace in one's life can reverse the irreversible and can turn condemnation to pardon and death sentence to life.
NOAH AND HIS FAMILY. Genesis 6- 9. It was also God's special grace upon Noah and his family that made them escape destruction by the flood. God's grace made him to be extraordinary. Gen 6:8, "But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord." The grace of God upon his life made him to be righteous and blameless among the people of his time. So when God wanted to destroy the earth, he set him apart. And God even made a covenant with him after the flood. Gen 9: 1 -2 say, "Then God blessed Noah and his sons saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in numbers and fill the earth.The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea, they are given into your hands." Noah definitely enjoyed God's grace and it was exceptional.
Brethren, it is grace that made Mary to be highly favoured; the adulterous woman to receive pardon; made Noah and His family to be spared from destruction and it enabled Paul to do exploits and finish well.
Do you want to enjoy God's grace? Yes, you can. We are in the period of grace. You need to passionately desire it and sincerely ask and pray for it with humility. It does not only save you from eternal death, it also saves you from a defeated and hopeless life. His grace can also make you to be outstanding and extraordinary in good deeds.
But God's grace must not be taken for granted or abused. For you to enjoy God's grace, you must be dead to sin and be alive in Christ. Romans 6:1-2 say, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? GOD FORBID!" Titus 2:11-12 say, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "NO" to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age." So for you to enjoy God's grace, sin must be out of your life totally and you must shun evil and every appearance of it.
PRAYER: Father, I need your grace, kindly pour it into my life so that I can live by it and also have it in abundance to run my Christian race successfully and end well. And Father, also make me a channel of grace to others. In Jesus name. I pray. Amen.