For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time – to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.2 Timothy 1:9 (NLT)
Grace. It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot in Christianity. But, oftentimes we don’t stop to ponder truly what grace means. In fact, as I’ve conducted studies of teens over the last eight years, we’re not doing a good job of helping younger generations of Christians understand grace either. It’s a shame, really. Grace is of utmost importance when it comes to our salvation and understanding the character of God.
Grace is simply this – unmerited favor. Let’s unpack what that means. A few years back, I had a carload of students returning from watching a film called God’s Not Dead in a town a little over an hour away from where we live. I didn’t realize how late it was, and so was driving faster than the posted speed limit in an effort to get the students back before curfew. I didn’t see the sheriff’s deputy off the side of the road checking my speed. He pulled me over. I was guilty. I broke the law. I knew it. The deputy knew it. Yet, after a bit of a discussion, the deputy let me go with just a warning to slow it down a bit. That was grace. I was guilty. Yet, the deputy showed mercy and let me go without the penalty that I deserved.
It’s similar when it comes to Jesus. Because of grace Jesus looks past all of our filth, all of our sins (yes, all of them) and loves us anyway. Jesus died to show us the enormity of the love that He has for each one of us, in spite of things we do against the Kingdom of God.
Here’s the even more amazing part. As our verse today states, it “was his plan from before the beginning of time.” Long before you and I were born, Jesus decided to show us grace. Before even your parents, grandparents, or any human was created, Jesus decided that He would die to demonstrate His love to you and me. He knew we would sin. Yet, He would die to pay the penalty for our sins. It wasn’t snap decision made in the heat of the moment. Jesus chose to show us grace before the world even began. But, it wasn’t a one-time decision. It continues today, and tomorrow, and the next day – all the way until His return.
So, today, and every day, marinate on the grace that God gives to each of us.