I was born into a Hispanic Pentecostal church in downtown Manhattan, NY.
My parents were teachers, associate pastors, deacons, board members, counselors, treasurers; studied institute and even taught it. So if there was anything to know about God, I easily had access to people who knew the bible in the comfort of my own home.
I never knew what Grace was.
And so I left church.
Because after countless failed attempts to please God, I felt unworthy.
Nothing could change me.
God didn't love me anymore.
Or He only loved me when I did the right thing.
I was bound to go to hell, so "why not enjoy my life?".
Nothing could be done for me.
It was too late.
I was far too gone.
I was too far for His reach.
He forgot about me.
I began learning about Grace 7 years ago.
It was a foreign word to me.
At first I thought it meant peace of mind.
Upon further study of the word I found it meant unmerited favor.
And now I've come to know the word means many things.
It means pardon.
It's a simple small word
that's packed with so much power;
we take it for granted sometimes.
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
Grace is what we need when our kids are acting up and we don't know how else to punish them.
It's peace when you just found out your position at work has been downsized.
It's happiness as you endure being attacked by your family.
It's loving someone who has hurt us.
It's power to help us get through any and every situation life will throw at us.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
Without grace I feel ashamed and unworthy.
Dirty and blind.
I can't accept being loved by God, because I have strayed away from Him so many times.
He can't possibly want anything to do with me, after all the fowl language I participate in.
Why would God, who is divine and perfect and holy, want to associate with someone who cannot get their act together?
Because of Grace.
It's the pardon from God, that will allow us to turn away from our past, our sin and our guilt, to be able to receive His love and His mercy.
Nothing is too dirty, messy, ugly, sinful, ratchet, vile, abominable, senseless or withered for Him to restore.
When we can't forgive ourselves, Grace leads us to it.
We all fall short.
We all stumble.
We all disappoint Him.
We all are guilty and hurting.
But we can't afford to stay in that condition.
We don't have to live each day, "just getting by" in our walk with God.
Waiting for Sunday to get a touch of God that will last us til [at most] Monday afternoon.
God wants to share this gift with us EVERY DAY!
That empowers us to do what He has called us to do.
To love, have peace, be gentle, be patient, suffer quietly, be joyful, have faith and controlling ourselves in every scenario as we follow His will.
Grace is the ability to get back up and turn our lives around for His glory.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
Let's ask God to give us Grace each day.
It's free and it's available to all.