"Grace Looks Like Jesus"

PastorMikeOsthimer1

"Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."


2 Corinthians 12:8-10


We read a lot about grace in the Bible but have you ever thought what does grace actually look like on a day to day basis? Grace might best be evidenced in the Bible by a single word, "dependence" since grace is the very antithesis of works and self sufficiency. Every time you see a person in the Bible relying completely on God, trusting in His Word, and in His promises they are exercising faith on their part and every time God answers a prayer, heals a person or makes His presence or His will known to man, God is doing so by His grace, completely separate from anything we do, not in response of. Grace you could say looks a lot like Jesus!

The apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 is exercising faith as he prays to God three specific times asking the Lord to heal him of his infirmity. As the apostle Paul exercises faith in praying, the Lord responds directly to him by His grace which also provides for us a beautiful picture of what living in grace looks like. Jesus said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Did you get that? Jesus says to Paul, "My grace is enough for you, for My strength is made perfect when you are without strength." Its as if Jesus is saying, Paul, when you get so weak and you feel like you cant go on I'll be there for you, I'll be right there with you, you will never be alone."

Living and walking in grace you could say then is living in complete awareness and dependency on God for your life. It's to recognize God is in control and that He is there. That's what we see Paul doing here. The apostle Paul didn't choose his infirmity but what he did choose was to trust God to work in and through it. Paul couldn't heal himself but what he could do was live with the awareness of God's presence in his life and to depend on the Lord to provide for the apostle what he could not provide for himself. What is true for healing is equally true regarding our salvation. We cant save ourselves. We are too weak. Jesus is the only one strong enough to save us and He has promised He would if only we will trust Him to do so.

Titus 2:11 tells us, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men." You could say, grace and Jesus are synonymous as wherever we see Jesus in the Bible we see grace personified. Because Christ lives, grace lives. Grace for our every wrong, grace for our everyday, grace for our every fear, grace for our every challenge, grace for our every need. God's grace is available to us without limit, grace for salvation, grace for living, grace for dying, grace for all eternity. The bottom line is this, grace equals Jesus. Grace lives because Jesus lives, grace works because He works and grace matters because Jesus matters. To be saved by grace is to be saved by Jesus, not an idea, not a creed, not a doctrine, not a church association, not by good thoughts, not by good deeds, but by Jesus Christ and Him alone, who has promised to enfold into His arms anyone who will come to and receive Him. Jesus is grace, and the gift of grace is ours through faith. Yes, loved one, grace looks just like Jesus!


"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."

Ephesians 2:8-9

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