"Grace was given me." Ephesians 3:8 NIV
The word "grace," is so important that Paul mentions it three times more than any other writer. Remembering the violent life he lived, he writes, "Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach...the unsearchable riches of Christ." The word grace comes from the Greek word charis, meaning "pure joy." Although you didn't deserve it, God considered saving you a "pure joy." How about that?
In John, chapter 8, a woman is caught in the act of adultery. The law is unmistakable about her punishment. The Pharisees are ready to stone her. She knows that Jesus, being righteous, must agree. She has no lawyer to defend her, not even a character witness! Suddenly Jesus stoops and begins to write in the sand. Some scholars have suggested that perhaps He wrote down their sins, times, places, etc. Ouch! When He looks up, her accusers are gone. He says, "Neither do I condemn you...Go now and leave your life of sin" (Jn 8:11 NIV). Jesus lifted her from a position of undeniable guilt to one of unconditional pardon. She didn't deserve it, and didn't know it was possible. And that's your story too, isn't it?
One day Abraham Lincoln watched a plantation owner bidding for a slave girl. Figuring he was going to buy her and abuse her, Lincoln paid the price to set her free. "Does this mean I can say whatever I want to say?" she asked. Lincoln replied, "Yes." Again she asked, "Does this mean I can go wherever I want to go?" Again Lincoln responded, "Yes, you're free!" With tears streaming down her face she replied, "Then, sir, I will go with you." That's grace!
God's grace is so big, so huge and I know many fear the preaching of it. Fearing that it will encourage people to live a life free of boundaries. I believe this story is such a great illustration. When God sets us free from such bondage, we will want to go with Him not away from Him. Enjoy His grace!!1