The Grace of God- Part 1- A Loving Father
By Colleen Donahue
Grace – it’s one of those words found in the Christian lingo that always had me stumped as to its true meaning. I could see there was Grace Lutheran or Grace Baptist churches. We always said a grace before meals. Paul prayed in his epistles that grace and peace would be with his fellow believers. I’d heard a Pastor say, “Are you in grace?” And often at the end of a service I would hear the Pastor say, “Now may the love of God, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you always.”
I could see that whatever this grace actually was it was important and so I set out to find the truth for myself over the course of a year. I did read some books on it, but mostly I searched the scriptures and found that when grace is showered on your life and becomes part of it, things change forever. What you will study now is what I learned and am glad to share with you. May you be blessed as I was.
GRACE ALWAYS STARTS WITH GOD
The first thing we’ll learn about grace is that the flow of it always starts with God and it show us his character.
- What is the very essence of God?
1 John 4:7-10 (especially vs 8)
2.As a result, what can we count on?
Psalm 136: 1-26
3.How does King David describe the God who created everything?
1 Chronicles 29:11-12 / Psalm 147:4-5
4. As a result, is there any other God like the God revealed in the Bible?
5. Since the essence of God is love, He shows us this by knowing details about us that no one else knows. It shows the value we are in his eyes.
6. God is so close with us that He sees us, knows us, and observes us through every step in life. Only real love takes this kind of interest.
Job 34:21 / Psalm 33:13-15
7. God is able to see past our outward appearance to the very core of our being.
1 Samuel 16:7 / Hebrews 4:13
8. What God wants most from us is relationship. Yet, from the beginning – since Adam and Eve—we have used our free will to live by our own knowledge of good and evil. All sin is just living independent of God even while still believing in Him. So, while we may have forgotten about God in our life, has He forgotten about us?
9. We find in the Bible example after example of men and women completely abandoning God and yet God yearning for them to come back. The nation of Judah was one such example of a people who had abandoned God. They had become materially prosperous and saw no need to repent and be made right with God. Yet, here in this prophecy God was telling Judah that although he would judge them severely, he would also restore them and live amongst them again and rejoice over them as his people!
10. Grace manifests itself in a Father waiting for us to come to Him. We have been sinful and rebellious and yet he yearns for a relationship with us. He yearns to show us His love.
Isaiah 30:18 / Isaiah 65:1-2
11. He stands knocking at the door of our heart but will never force His way in.
Matthew 23:37 / Revelation 3:20
12. God creates us, forms us, redeems us, and then calls us. Why does He want to do all this for us?
Isaiah 43:1, 3-4
13. God wants a relationship with you and I. What do we need to do to have one with Him?
14. Relationship is always about doing things together. King David had a true sense of this when he wrote the psalms. In these few verses we can see that both God and then you and I have a part to play. List what we should do and then what God will do.
15. God is so committed to a relationship with us that although we may choose to walk away from God, what will be true on His part?
16. Grace is God seeing us in our pride and arrogance and yet wanting to love, save, and protect us. As his kids He rejoices when we love Him and long to be with Him.
Reread: Zephaniah 3:17
If we have strayed from Him and come back, what is his attitude to us?
17. God waits for us to believe in Him and love Him so that He can extend to us our rights as His children.
18. Grace comes from a God with unlimited resources.
19. Grace is God’s provision for all creation….
But WHO is He especially good to?
20. And therefore, the grace of God is freely given so that we can have all of our needs met in this life. WHO does God do all his giving through?
21. God is not only prepared to help us, but He has all the power and authority to do anything He wants. He shows His grace to us by undertaking for us when we are powerless to change things ourself.
22. Grace is God doing for his people what we can’t do for ourselves.
…..and for those things that WE can do—even those, God is enabling us from within. He gives us the desire and the power to do His will.
23. Grace is God as our Father planning for our lives in advance and then wanting to live it side-by-side with us. He had a purpose for us even before He made us.
Psalm 139:16 / Jeremiah 1:5
24. Like any good parent, God has big plans for his kids --- plans that will give them a bright future. By giving us His best – Jesus – our lives can be full with hope for a bright future.
25. God has made plans for us to be with Him forever so that we need have no fear of what comes after this life.
26. Ultimately, grace is shown by God planning ahead for us so that in Heaven we will have a new eternal body made with his own hands.
1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 52-54 / 2 Corinthians 5:1-3