Christians have received God's grace. This is seen in the reality that God continued to pursue us even when we were in open rebellion against Him. The apostle Paul in Romans 5 says that we were God's enemies. It amazes me that given that we were enemies of God that He stilled desired to have a relationship with us. He went so far as to send Jesus to die on our behalf so we could experience this relationship. God's grace is indeed amazing.
What is even more amazing is that we can do nothing to earn God's grace, love, and forgiveness. Grace flows out of God's character and it is not based on who we are or what we have done. It is totally a gift from God.
It is too bad that we haven't learned how to be gracious. There are a number of people we keep on the outside of our church families based on their past behavior, current beliefs, or present group of friends. In this we have failed to model God's graciousness towards us.
Mark McIntyre ponders the lack of graciousness experienced in many church families in this blog post.
Grace is a word that Christians frequently use, too often glibly and without proper thought. For example, I have been in several churches with Grace in their titles who offered very little of it to the people who attend.
We all want grace, but sometimes struggle to give it when it is most needed. Perhaps this is why Jesus placed such an emphasis upon forgiveness, going so far as to say that He will not forgive those who refuse to forgive others (Matthew 6:15). Offering grace must be intentional and is sometimes difficult because it goes against our natural inclination.
What is even more bothersome to me is that in some churches, selective grace is offered. Selective grace is in operation when some people receive grace and others do not. Often this is due to the background of the person who needs grace.