“But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin,
so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ,
might be given to those who believe.” - Galatians 3:22
Paul uses Galatians 3:22, to tell us that our freedom from sin comes from grace alone, through our faith in Jesus Christ. He also restates this belief in the words of Ephesians 2:8-9 when he says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Paul’s message is just as relevant for us today, because we need to remember that our salvation cannot be earned. God’s grace in salvation is for all who believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross so that their sins would be forgiven and they would have eternal life.
God’s grace is not only unearned, it is undeserved, and unconditional. It is hard for us to comprehend this concept, because the worldview tells us that doing more gets you more, or that doing good will give you more “good” in your life. Too many people believe that if they have “good things” in their life, it is because they have earned God’s favor and blessings. We can use the follow acrostic to help remember that grace is a “gift” ...
G.R.A.C.E. can be defined as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense
So, if we can’t earn grace, what should our response be to God’s “gift” as we grow spiritually and mature as disciples of Christ? God’s grace should move us toward repentance and faith, with the obvious response resulting in acts of service. As I thought about the importance of Paul’s words, I asked myself, “Do my acts of service reflect my gratitude and joy for my gift of salvation?”
In just a few days I will have an opportunity to serve as part of a team for a women’s spiritual retreat. The participants will come with empty hands and open hearts, to be filled with the immense power of God’s love and grace. The purpose of the weekend is to inspire, challenge and equip local church members for Christian action – in their homes, churches, workplaces and communities. There is almost nothing better than experiencing the presence of God, seeing Him at work in the lives of others and being part of his Master Plan. I look forward to spending time with my Sisters in Christ and believe that my “gratitude” for the gift of God’s grace is reflected as I serve others in His name.
“While they were talking and discussing,
Jesus himself came near and walked with them.”
But, just as the disciples’ journey did not end on the road to Emmaus, my journey must continue beyond the mountaintop and into the valleys. We can’t get too comfortable in our “peaceful environment,” so again I ponder the question about what my actions reflect. Understanding the gift of God’s “grace” also helps me share my faith with non-Christians. Two things that we need to keep in mind as we witness to others: 1) You can never be good enough to earn salvation since it is of God’s grace and 2) You can never be bad enough to be ineligible for salvation since it is also of God’s grace. I can show others the “joy of my salvation” by being a living witness, letting my actions reflect my faith and bringing the Good News to un-believers. Only then, can I honestly say, “Yes, my acts of service do reflect my gratitude and joy for my gift of salvation!”
So, I ask you the question “Do your acts of service reflect your gratitude and joy for your gift of salvation?” I’d love to hear some of the ways you show your gratitude and express your joy through service and witness.
Peace be with you!
Blessings, Donna Weaver
“Let me tell you what He has done for me.”
- Psalm 66:16