The Place of Grace

The place of grace is found in the shadow of the cross, where Love poured out His life-blood and the heart of the Ransom physically burst because of His great love for me. This is the grace I need. This is the grace I long for. I rest in the shadow of this grace and I am washed. I am reconciled. The righteousness of the Ransom, the Righteous One, is reckoned to me. Me. Amazing grace! How can it be?

I come to the cross for cleansing, for pardon. I cling to the cross because I have nowhere else to go. If I were to turn back, to reject this grace, where then would I go?

You alone, O LORD, have the Words of Life.

Life is more than breath, more than sleeping and waking. More than work and rest and recreation. Life is eternal. And the Eternal Life-Word is Christ. There is no life apart from Him.

This Life, this New Life, is imputed to me.

Imputed. Attributed. Credited. Transferred. A spiritual blood transfusion that brings me back to life. The Righteous One, the Holy One, the Perfect One, the Sinless One, spilled His blood for me so that I could become the ransomed one.

God, the Righteous Judge, looks at me and says, “Not guilty.”

Oh, but I am guilty. You have no idea how guilty I am.

And then He looks at me and says, “Made whole.”

Oh, but I am not whole. I am wounded. You have no idea how wounded I am.

I am bleeding out.

Over this guiltiness, this woundedness, this bleeding out from the wretched mess of sin and hurt and shame lies the shadow of the cross. The Ransom takes his nail-scarred hands and gently binds up my wounds. He softly whispers, “You will not bleed anymore, because I have bled for you.”

Then He applies the healing balm, the soul-balm that heals my broken heart.

Because of this great love with which He loved me, this great grace by which He saved me, I can be His hands and feet to bind up the wounds of others. I must be. For me, Wife and Mother, this starts at home.

Home is our place of grace because the shadow of the cross lies over this place. We extend grace to one another in light of the far greater grace extended to us. And we open our doors and our arms and our hearts wide to welcome others that they may also receive this grace. We give grace because we have received Grace. We cannot give what we have not first received.

Freely have you received, freely give.

I freely receive this grace, and I freely give it, or at least I want to. It is hard to give freely to others because it always costs me something. Every gift has a price that somebody has to pay. The grace-gift costs me my pride, my convenience, and my comfort. It costs me my to-do list, my system of doing things, and my vision of how things ought to be done. It means I have to lay it down, lay it all down.

Selfishness is so heavy.

When I empty my arms of all this heavy burden, the grace-gift freely flows. The laying down is so hard, but the giving is so easy. It is joyous. It is holy.

This grace-gift is hardest to give when I am tired, spent, or fed up. Sometimes, I don’t want to give grace, because my people don’t always deserve grace. They hurt me, ignore me, and sin against me and each other. But this is exactly when the grace-gift is most needed, because Grace has the power to demolish strongholds.

How can I, the recipient of the greatest, undeserved Grace-Gift of all time, not also extend undeserved grace? This is exactly what Grace is at its heart. The undeserved favor of God.

Freely have you received, freely give.

Grace means that I think the best of others, see the best in others, and love them like they already are the best versions of themselves. I do this because it is what Christ has done for me. Christ loved me when I was an enemy of God, completely outside of His covenant of grace. He extended the best kind of grace. I was dead, you see, and He made me alive. He reached down and breathed the breath of life into my soul, and I became a living being. And God saw what He had re-made through His Son, and He called me good.

Freely have you received, freely give.

No one can ever offend, hurt, or betray me more than I have offended, hurt, and betrayed my God. And yet, He loved me anyway.

How can I not also love others in this way?

I must. I am commanded. I am compelled.

Giving, receiving, and living in the place of grace is my calling as a child of God and a follower of Christ. It is my greatest joy, and often my greatest struggle. In the day-to-day rhythm of my life, Christ invites me to dwell in the shadow of the cross, where His grace abounds to me.

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References:

  1. Ephesians 2:8-9  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
  2. John 6:68  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
  3. Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
  4. 2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
  5. Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
  6. Matthew 10:7-8 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come  near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.  Freely you have received; freely give.
  7. Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  8.  Genesis 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
  9. Genesis 2:7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

About Julia

Welcome! I'm so glad you stopped by. My name is Julia. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a teacher, and most recently, a writer. Above all, I am a daughter of the King. I am constantly amazed at God's goodness in my life; undeserved and unlimited. Come sit and visit awhile. The teapot's always on the stove.
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