Note: This blog is part of a Thanksgiving series of blogs highlighting attributes of God for which I am thankful.
I’m learning the beauty of a word that I used to limit: grace.
Of course, we know that God is gracious, and we are thankful for that; but I am discovering that His graciousness impacts far more of my life than I used to think.
We know that it is through His grace that we are saved.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.—Ephesians 2:8–9
And if you’re in church at all, it’s not difficult to know that people who are hurting or grieving need grace. Just listen to public prayers, and you’ll understand that grace is for people who have lost a loved one.
But in recent years, I’ve begun to see grace in a fuller light. I’m learning that grace is not limited to salvation and loss. Ephesians 2:7 uses the phrase “the exceeding riches of his grace.”
God’s grace is Who He is—not just what He does. He is gracious. From Genesis to Revelation, God extends grace.
And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,—Exodus 34:6
The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.—Numbers 6:24–26
But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.—Psalm 86:15
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.—Psalm 103:8
He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.—Psalm 111:4
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.—Psalm 116:5–6
The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.—Psalm 145:8
Even Jesus, as He taught, did it with grace. Both His manner and His message were gracious.
And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?—Luke 4:22
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.—John 1:14
Furthermore, grace and God’s willingness to give it is a key theme throughout the New Testament epistles. Just do a search for “grace” in the concordance, and you’ll see. In fact, the very last verse of the Bible sums up its message of grace:
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.—Revelation 22:21
I’m thankful for God’s grace. I’m thankful that it’s free and sufficient. And I’m thankful that God is gracious.
Once we have truly tasted the graciousness of God, there is only one reasonable response:
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.—1 Peter 2:2-3
This verse calls to my mind a picture that I saw played out hundreds of times: greedy little goat kids, tails flipping back and forth in eagerness as they gulped milk from a bottle as fast as they could. It didn’t matter that milk was dripping off their chins and foaming at the corners of their mouths. They wanted more, and they wanted it fast. (And woe to their brother or sister who happened to be slower in finishing a bottle! Once they finished their own, they were going for another!)
I want to be greedy for God’s grace. I need it. And I need to look to Him for it.
What attribute of God are you thankful for that begins with the letter G?