I'm a person who worries too much. I worry about my weight, I worry about my finances, I worry about my wife and kids, I worry about the challenges of owning an older home, I worry about my ministry pursuits and school work; all of which cause me to worry about my lack of faith! I admire people who are able to roll with the punches and just accept life's challenges as blips on the radar screen; I'm just not wired that way; yet.
Yesterday in church, we showed a video called Pictures of Grace. I found this video as a transition piece to lead into the song This is Amazing Grace by Bethel Live. The video is sound bites of ordinary people who explain what grace means to them. In my verbal transition after the video, I asked "what does grace mean to you?" Christians are really good at throwing the word "grace" around but I would submit that this word in the context of Christianity is not self-explanatory. A quick Google search brought this definition of grace in regard to Christianity: gift from God to man - "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved". That undeserved gift is the forgiveness of sins and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.
What is my picture of grace? God granting me forgiveness of sins and eternal life, after living a life as far away from being a Christian as possible. Grace is God granting me stability in my marriage and home life. Grace is God allowing me, a goofed up guy (who struggles with trust - see above!) to be a worship pastor at an amazing church, where I can stand in front of God's people and define the word, Grace. Worrying too much about the things on earth don't get us anywhere. Grace does it all.
What is your picture of grace? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
"For it is by GRACE you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God, NOT by works, so that no one can boast."