Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Beautiful Doctrine of Grace



I’ve been thinking a lot about grace. I don’t think there’s anything that has changed my life more than that one simple word. That’s why it was such a delight to hear President Uchtdorf talk on grace in the April 2015 General Conference. After defining the word, he then said this: “It is a most wondrous thing, this grace of God. Yet it is often misunderstood.” I can definitely say that’s been true for me. For a long time, I thought grace was something Christians believed in, not Mormons. Or that grace was something that I could only get “after all I could do.” I never saw it as something I needed in my everyday life. But all that has changed in recent years. For me, grace has become, like Brother Brad Wilcox likes to say, “not a booster engine that kicks in once [my] fuel supply is exhausted,” but my “constant energy source.”

I love how Sheri Dew describes it in her book, Amazed by Grace (which is an absolutely wonderful read, by the way):

If we think we have to conquer a bad habit or an addiction by ourselves, before we seek help, we most likely don’t understand grace. If we’re discouraged with ourselves because we feel weak and succumb too readily and too often to temptation, we don’t understand grace. . . . If we keep trying to suppress envy or anger that rises up at the worst moments, if we feel as though nothing ever changes and we can’t seem to get over unfairness of hurt, if we feel unworthy of the Lord’s help, we don’t understand grace. . . . In other words, if we feel as though we’re alone and must rely largely or even solely upon our own energy, talent, and strength—we don’t understand grace. Or better said, we don’t understand the enabling power of Jesus Christ.

Can there be anything more comforting and hopeful than knowing our precious Savior is waiting to pour out His grace in our moment of need?? That in our weakness, He’s able to infuse us with more power and strength and energy than we even thought possible?? It’s made me want to drink in His grace every single minute of every single day. In the words of a favorite Christian writer,

The greatest saints are not those who need less grace, but those who consume the most grace, who indeed are most in need of grace -- those who are saturated by grace in every dimension of their being. Grace to them is like breath (Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart).

Let’s all breathe in grace today until our lungs our so full of it that we can join Paul in saying, “By the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Cor. 15:10).

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