What if I told you that every woman I know should attend Grace School? Not the manners and poise kind of grace, but the one that re-teaches you about a very common word in scripture: grace.
We learned in grade school that “grace” is “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”
Remember I told you a while back I’ve been studying the word grace in my personal devotions and that one verse in particular stumped me for a few days? Titus 2:11. I know. It’s a common verse and one that we memorized as children. But, it speaks of something that teaches me to be godly, and I just realized that it was not at all, at all, what I expected:
But how does God’s grace teach us to live soberly, righteously and godly? Doesn’t a knowledge of God’s commands, proper doctrine, long lists of laws and community standards give us that instruction?
Why God’s grace?
- that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness
- grace of speech
- good will, loving-kindness, favour
- the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.
I’ve been mulling this over for a few days, and here are my personal thoughts. Mind you, these are not based on really anything in scripture, but my own experience, which may or may not be correct.
I believe God’s grace teaches me to deny myself and live godly:
Because when I fail and receive grace, I am unafraid to try again. Perfect love casts out all fear. Fear is a huge inhibitor for women in all kinds of relationships. Fear of rejection, reprimand, fear of failure and disappointing people. When I know that God is gracious, I am less afraid to take the next step in my Christian walk.
Because grace compels me to want to be better. When I fail my husband, and he gives me grace and treats me with love instead of doling out the same foolish behavior I’ve given him, it not only convicts me, but it endears me to him even more. Grace makes me even more aware of my own sinfulness. It pricks my heart and convicts me of sin. It says “You are living like a prodigal when you are really a child of the King.” Grace leads me “home.”
Because grace makes me love the Gracious One. When I am sinful and know I deserve reprimand, but instead, God gives me grace or, worse (better?) blesses me instead of punishing me, gives me yet another chance, can I tell you how much that endears you to a person? Grace whispers, “Don’t be afraid. You are safe.” Safe. How many people can you really say that about in this world? Your heart is safe with them? Or your secret is safe with them? With God we are safe and secure. God has no ulterior motives to expose you or demean you. We can trust Him. He’s already laid out his purpose: to do you good. And he proved it by dying on the cross for us.
And when I not only receive but understand all that I have in Christ, it frees me up to live like Christ. I can then extend grace to other believers. I don’t have to prove myself to them. I am already loved by the King of Heaven. I don’t have to promote myself or protect myself, or fall into the performance trap. I can rest in all that I am and have in Christ and exclaim with the saints of all the ages, “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, ” and “grace will lead me home.”
What are you learning in Christ’s school of grace this week?