Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Be a Source of Grace

The Apostle Paul has some favorite words, and one of them is grace. He begins and ends his letters with the word grace, such as he does here in his letter to the young pastor Titus, “Grace be with you all” (Titus 3:15).  This is not just a greeting or a way to end his letters; this is a way of life for the apostle. He believes that when a person has been redeemed by the grace of God, they should become a source of grace to those around them. Here is how he says that to Titus, “…so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone” (Titus 3:8).

I find this fascinating because many believers certainly believe grace is the transforming agent of our salvation, but they never seem to grasp that God intends for each of us to perpetuate that grace. What do I mean when I say we should be a source of grace? Well, I’m referring to how we relate to the people around us. For example, when a husband is rude to his wife in front of his children, it is his responsibility to ask forgiveness in front of his children and thereby show grace to his family. When a manager has been ill-mannered with her employees, it is her responsibility to show them grace and apologize for her behavior. When we take responsibility for our actions, we not only show grace to those we have offended, but we also show them how to live. When we do so, we become a source of grace to those around us, and this is what is so desperately needed in a graceless world.

Grace is a powerful force that works in us and through us when we actually live it out as Paul says, “and devote ourselves to what is good.” Surprisingly, a life full of grace is often more powerful than the display of miracles because grace touches our lives in small ways that make us believe. Only grace can enable a person to live as Paul says, “…to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men” (Titus 3:2). In order to live this way we need God’s grace to have self-control. However, when we do live this way, we make the gospel attractive to those who are watching our lives.

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