By Reverend Nancy Carmichael Stoner with Reverend Craig Carmichael Stoner
- If our greatest need had been information,
- God would have sent an educator.
- If our greatest need had been technology,
- God would have sent a scientist.
- If our greatest need had been money,
- God would have sent an economist.
- If our greatest need had been pleasure,
- God would have sent an entertainer.
- But our greatest need was forgiveness,
- so God sent us a Savior!
Advent, a time of preparation. Can you make room for it this year? A time to remember and ponder the birth of Christ which leads to Jesus’ death and ultimately the Glorious return of Christ? Will you join me in in this reflection?
This first week of advent our word is Grace. Take a minute to think about the word Grace and try to define it.
Grace is used many ways
The word Grace has many uses, a term for our table prayer, grace as in “give me some grace”. It is also used to define graceful movement. However, God’s Grace is so much more. The root of the word grace is to stoop.
God stoops down to meet our need! In Philippians 2:5-8 Jesus stoops … He leaves heaven and becomes a man in a Supreme act of Grace just because He loves you and me! I like to define God’s Grace as something God does to us or for us, just because he loves us! No works, no pleading, nothing deserved … nothing.
The apostle Paul wrote: in 2 Cor. 5:21
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin in our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2Corinthians 5:21
This verse defines what the Reformation called the Great Exchange. God gives us the Righteousness of Christ in exchange for our sin when we accept Jesus as our Savior!
We did nothing to receive it because it is by Grace that we are set free. See? Grace is God doing it all, unmerited, undeserved. Realizing that, Grace should cause us to be full of joy, praise, and thanksgiving.
Jesus is the beginning of a new era
John 1:17, For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth [a]were realized through Jesus Christ.’ Christmas is remembering the birth of a baby, but so much more, it is the beginning of a new era, one of Grace.
Jesus came to show us Grace and tell us the truth of Who God is and what He is like, can I say loving and giving and full of Grace? Are you able to list a few acts of grace that the Father or the Son has shown you?
Try to list 5 ways to show “grace” others this season? Ways which they will know you are Christians by your love.
Finally, this Is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham. It is a beautiful summary of “Grace”.
Who breaks the power of sin and darkness
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger
The of Glory the King above all kings
Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
Who leaves us breathless in awe and wonder
The King of Glory the King above all King kings
This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You laid down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh Jesus I sing for all that You’ve done for me
Opening poem (unknown) and some thoughts are found in The Grace Awakening by Charles Swindoll