Galatians 1:3 – Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
1 Corinthians 15:10 – But by the grace of God I [Paul} am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
Have you ever seen the pay it forward trend at coffee shop drive through windows? The way it works is this: at some point, some person decides to pay for their coffee and for the stranger behind them in line. Oftentimes, this simple act of grace starts a chain reaction of grace as person after person does the same thing – receiving a gift and then responding to give a gift. Some news reports indicate that this has happened as many as one thousand times in a row!
Sadly, many Christians wrongly believe that when the Bible speaks of grace versus works that it means Christians should not expend any effort or accomplish anything. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus came “full of grace” (John 1:14) and got more done than anyone in the history of the world. Like Jesus, the Apostle Paul, who writes a lot about grace, walked upwards of twenty miles a day, spent time in prison, wrote roughly half the books of the New Testament and got more done than anyone in his day.
At issue in our study of Galatians is the issue of grace. The critics and opponents of grace wanted to add what we do on top of what Jesus did for people to be considered Christians. They had the order inverted: grace means that God does 1) Work for us through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ 2) Work in us by the power of the Holy Spirit 3) Work through us as a means of God’s grace.
In this world, we have a limited supply of time, energy, and money. But, one thing that never runs out is God’s grace, because it comes from beyond this world. Ministry is literally ministering the grace of God to others. When we are generous, love, forgive, serve, counsel, or simply be present with someone who is hurting, God uses us to be a means of grace to them. Not only does this bless them, it also blesses us. For this reason, people who receive grace and get grace get more done with more joy than those who are driven by laws that demand they perform works.
Who or what has been a means of God’s grace to you? Who can you be a means of grace to this week?