devotions for women


God gives Grace, He is Gracious and Patient

Day Fourteen
by Gini Crawford, MSW

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The One True God is the God of grace. This means He freely and generously bestows His unearned and undeserved favor upon us. The New Testament writers used the word grace, but took it a step further from the classical Greek meaning. Let's define grace: Grace goes beyond the ordinary course of what is expected, and has no expectation of something in return. You donít work for grace, it is a gift. Grace has the idea of beauty, joy, favor, pleasure, gratitude, and kindness in it. In human terms grace was only given to someone you liked. Yet, God's grace is so beyond human grace. He gives grace to His enemies, us. His grace is sacrificial and relational; it has no end. His grace brings the sacrificial gift of salvation to us, so we can live forever with Him. His grace is sufficient for our every need, and it gives us His power to live for Him. (Psalm 84:11; Romans 3:23-24, 5:15, 21, 11:6; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Ephesians 3:7; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:7)

Jesus Christ brings God's gift of grace to us. Because of the awful fix we were in as sinners, it's pretty evident salvation had to be given to us by grace. We receive the gracious gift of being saved from our sins like we would receive any gift, we take it. However, instead of using our hand to take the gracious gift of salvation from God, we take it by belief, or faith in Jesus Christ. (John 1:16-17)

But God...because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:4-9 NASB®

Late one night while at home, my husband and I heard a loud noise that sounded like a car crash. We lived a block from a fairly busy rural road. God put it on our hearts to get into our car and go see if anyone needed help. As we turned onto the road we saw flames. When we got there, I ran to the car on fire and pulled the driver out, because his door was miraculous open. The others in the car were dead. My husband helped the people in the other car. The driver didn't deserve grace because, being drunk, he caused the accident that killed his two friends, and hurt the passengers in the other car. Though the families did give the driver grace in the long run. Like the driver didn't deserve grace, we don't either as sinners. However, God freely gives us His abundant grace. How does it make you feel to know God died, so He could give you His grace now and throughout the ages? It makes me feel wondrously loved.

God is patient, and slow to anger. God waits for us. (Isaiah 30:18) I am very relieved God is slow to anger, and patiently waits for me to do what I should be doing. Are you?

But You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness; And You did not forsake them. Nehemiah 9:17 NASB®
The patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 NASB®

The One True God shows grace and patience to us, to lovingly encourage us to do what is right. The prophet Jonah hated the wicked Assyrians and knew God would be slow to anger and abundant with His grace toward them. So Jonah ran from God, to try to stop God from being patient and gracious to the Assyrians. But God can't be fooled, and He sent a big fish Jonah's way. This fish showed Jonah God's grace, by literally saving him and getting him back on God's track. And Jonah was right, because God did show the very sinful Assyrians much patience and grace, which led them to repent. (Jonah 1:17, 3:1-10, 4:1-2) Have you ever hoped that God wouldn't give someone grace and patience? This is a very counterproductive way of feeling that will come back to bite you. Just ask Jonah.


Life Application:

If you are not willing to give people grace and patience - bitterness can grow in your life and cause a lot of problems. Bitterness is defined as an attitude that tends to grow out of our refusal to give people grace. Bitterness is also deep seated ill feeling, or hostility towards someone. Think about a person who has no grace or patience. He is not very pleasant to be around, is he? Are you a bitter person? If so, it's time to change. Ask God to make you a patient and grace giving person. You will like the new you and everyone else will too!

Pursue peace...See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; Hebrews 12:14-15 NASB®

Amazing Grace, is a popular song even with people who don't know the One True God, because we all love grace. The writer of the song, Amazing Grace, was a slave trader at one time, who found God's grace. That grace changed him from a man who abused people, to a man who loved God and people. What has God's grace done for you? God's grace has given me a wonderful and fulfilling life. It scares me to think what type of life I would have had without God's grace. If you are grateful for God's grace towards you, make sure you give others grace. (Matthew 7:12; 1 Peter 4:10) I ask God consistently to empower me to be gracious and patient towards people. How about you?


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