Grace

NOTE: This is Day Five of the devotional guide of our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship, for the “Significance” series (a verse-by-verse study of the book of Ephesians).

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The book of Ephesians started with the apostle Paul wishing for grace for his readers (Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.1:2) and ended with him imparting it to them (Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible. 6:24).

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Grace is the oil that makes the gears of our family and church relationships run smoothly. One of my favorite Bible teachers, Chuck Swindoll, wrote
Grace is not only the basis of our salvation, but it is also the means by which we live the Christian life. Living by grace means accepting ourselves and others—failures and all. It means forgiving and going on. It means refusing to incarcerate ourselves in a cage of guilt or put others there. [1] 
Someone said that grace means “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” Indeed, we enjoy grace (and a whole lot more) because of our Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (1:3. Emphasis mine) “Every” means all. It includes everything and excludes nothing. 

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We are spiritually rich! But, how come we live as if we are spiritually poor? How we do we know we are living like earthly paupers when we are supposed to enjoy life as heavenly princes and princesses? When we don’t live by grace, we impoverish ourselves and miss out on God’s blessings. 

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In his “Becoming a People of Grace” study guide, Swindoll asked some pointed questions.
Have you had some spiritual failures recently, like losing your temper, succumbing to lust, or fudging on the facts you give your boss? What have they been? How do you imagine God reacts to these failures? Is He angrily stomping and shouting, woefully disappointed and disapproving, or graciously understanding and compassionate? How do you feel about yourself when you fail? How do you respond to others when they fail? [2]
Our answers to those questions would reveal whether we are enjoying grace or depriving ourselves of it. If we really experienced God’s grace in our lives, we will be able to impart it also to others. 

Significant Step

Write down your answers to those questions. Relax. You don’t have to share it with others unless you want to do so and you feel you can really trust the person you confide with. One way to enjoy grace is to forgive people who sinned against you. Take time to pray for them, and if needed, call or text them to declare your forgiveness.
[1] Charles Swindoll, Becoming a People of Grace: An Exposition of Ephesians Study Guide, (CA: Insight For Living, 2001), 20. Emphasis added. 

[2] Ibid, 20-21.

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