Today I am Bible Journaling Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” This is a verse, along with verse nine, that is so familiar to Believers, that we tend to rattle it off without really thinking about the significance of its meaning. God’s Grace is so amazing and yet we can take it for granted. We often use it as a Scripture to draw the unsaved to Jesus, as a way of explaining that God’s love for us is nothing we can earn, He gives it to us willingly and it is so overwhelming, we oftentimes can’t fathom the depths of His love for us.
As I was thinking about this, I was struck by the fact that His grace is a gift. We can’t earn it, nothing we can do or say can change that. God loves us so much that He extends His Grace to us by offering us salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Verse nine in the New Living Translation says, “Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” We cannot earn our salvation, or the grace God extends to us. It is God’s gift to us because He loves us so much.
I have often heard the definition of grace as “unmerited favor.” Dictionary.com defines grace as “favor or goodwill, forgiveness, mercy, the manifestation of favor by a superior.” God is so awesome! The Bible says that He loved us before we loved Him. (I John 4:19) Romans 5:8 says, “But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (NLT) I don’t know about you, but I find that totally amazing. We as humans have a tendency to love those whom we deem lovable. God loved us when we were unlovable! That is so hard for me sometimes to understand. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the extent of God’s love for me.
He is also our example in that we are to love and extend grace to others, even the unlovable! Boy, for me, that’s a hard thing to do. There are times I’m like that spoiled two-year-old kid who stomps their feet and says, “I don’t want to! Do you know what they did to me?” God could have done the same thing to us…He could have refused His love and grace to us, but He didn’t. He provided a way of salvation so that we could have a relationship with Him.
I believe God is calling each one of us to be more like Him in that we show His love to others regardless of whether we think they deserve it or not. We are to love them as He loves us and as He loves them. Regardless of whether we have been hurt by another Believer or by a sinner, we are to love and forgive them. Forgiveness is offered free to them just as it was to us. If we are to show the light of Christ, we must love like He does.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your great love for us and the Grace you bestow upon us. We ask, Lord, to help us to love and offer forgiveness to others as You do. Help us to see those who are in need of Your salvation as You see them. Give us the boldness to share our stories of how You saved us, with others so that they can experience an awesome relationship with You and be free from the burden of sin. Thank You for leading us each day in our journey with You. Amen.