God’s grace in our lives is such a powerful force that many of us may not realize at first just how deeply it impacts us. When we first get saved we may have a rudimentary, intellectual knowledge of grace, but it may take us years, or even the rest of our lives, to fully understand what we need to know. This undeserved favor from Him proactively reaches out to us in many different ways with the goal of radically changing us for the better. Grace is Jesus Christ, Himself, who earnestly wants us to share the same type of abundant life He has.
Life before the cross was not as rich and full of promise as life after the cross. Under the Law of Moses, the children of Israel were expected to abide by hundreds of strict rules and regulations to avoid being cursed. God led the people, but from a distance. After the cross, the covenant of grace replaced all those tedious laws, and God, Himself, now lives in us. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
What Jesus did for us radically changes and enriches our lives in ways nothing else can. We’re released from bondage to fear, worry, stress, and anxiety—emotions the rest of the world assumes are a part of living. We have peace of mind and joy that can’t be explained rationally, yet it’s always there, even in difficult times. This is all part of the Father’s plan for believers. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
We’re free from guilt, shame, and the resulting condemnation when we miss the mark because Jesus has already taken care of the judgment and sentence for sin. These spiritual shackles are responsible for holding many people back from leading the joyful, powerful lives God wants them to have. Shame inflicts plenty of emotional pain and damage, but Jesus hated it so much, He died on our behalf to take it away forever.“I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed” (Isaiah 50:6, 7).
We can rest without the nagging uneasiness so many others carry because we have a relationship with Christ. This rest is something religion can’t give us, because religion focuses on self-effort and hard work to earn blessings from God instead of simply receiving by faith what He has already provided. “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:9-11). This is not always easy to do when the pressures of life hit but, with His help, it can be done.
As God’s children, we’re in a unique position to demonstrate His love by the way we live. When God has radically changed us, His grace flows through us to radically change the lives of others. Submitting to His influence makes us the light of the world.