Written by David Lenehan
Grace plays a huge role in the life of my friend Derek Levendusky. He is lead pastor at GraceLife Church in Avon, NY. His oldest daughter’s name is Gracie. He experienced an incredible pouring out of God’s grace a number of years ago when he was at a point of total spiritual emptiness. As a teacher, worship leader, father, husband, songwriter, and wrestling coach, he lives out and serves up God’s grace to everyone he meets. He spoke about grace often at the Youth for Christ conferences I used to direct in NY. Derek knows grace.
This week, he shared this on his Instagram account:
“Grace is not a dirty word. It has power to electrify the heart with zeal for good works without making those good works a condition for earning our salvation. Grace is not balanced by legalistic obedience. Grace *is* the balance.”
The Apostle Paul shared those same ideas as he wrote to a young man named Titus, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good”(Titus 2:11-14, NIV).
By definition, grace is receiving what we don’t deserve. It’s fully lived out in God’s gift of his Son Jesus and Christ’s death and resurrection for our salvation. But, have you also thought about grace as one of the prime motivators for you to live like Jesus? It’s because of God’s grace that we should “live self-controlled, upright and godly lives.” It’s because of grace that we say “No” to sin. It’s because of grace that we wait for the “blessed hope” of Christ’s return. Grace moves us to be more like Jesus.
Grace is definitely a gift. But it’s so much more than that. It should be a huge part of what pushes us as followers of Jesus to speak, live out the life Jesus calls us to more each day. I pray that you experience an over-abundance of God’s grace today so that it can overflow to those around you.