I love to wrap presents. And even more, I love giving gifts. I love the element of presentation, the look of glee on a person’s face when they untie the bow and the delight that arrises when the box is opened and its contents are discovered. A gift represents the notion of care, love and thoughtfulness. I love that.
I have been thinking a lot about grace lately. In all reality, grace is a giant gift given to us by God our Father. This beautifully wrapped present gave us life forever, freedom and endless chances.
Our gift of grace is personified and displayed beautifully through the life of Jesus.
When I think of a gift of high price, I think of it as something that should be carefully placed on a table or shelf and be ooed and awed over. Jesus does the opposite. Jesus left Paradise, entered into a human body, suffered a gruesome death and bankrupt Heaven so we could be forgiven and enter into a perfect relationship with Him. When I think about it, my natural mind can’t wrap my brain around the concept.
Grace is scandalous. Jesus loves those whom we deem as unloveable. He transforms lives, gives endless chances and loves extraordinarily and unconditionally, knowing fully we won’t be able to return the sentiment or hold up our end of the deal.
We turn our backs, He still loves. We make mistakes, He picks us up. We are selfish, He is selfless. Ridiculous. Scandalous. Unthinkable.
It doesn’t add up or make sense, yet He calls us to do the same.
As Christians, Christ calls us to live a life worthy of the calling. He calls us to know Him, to love Him and to reflect His character of grace to the humaniods who inhabit our planet.
Scandalous grace is love in action. It’s lived out when we choose to love those the world deems as unloveable, when we create healing over hurt, pray rather than slander, offer second chances, keep the names of others safe in our mouths, believe in others, choose to see their God-given potential and choose to forgive rather than hold grudges. We model grace when we reflect on who Jesus is and ask Him to help us duplicate His character in our own lives.
When we are empowered with the grace of Jesus, we have the ability to make broken lives beautiful.
The lifestyle of grace is only created by pursuing Jesus both individually and corporately. We need to be daily in the word and in prayer and then connecting with the body of Christ. Learning who Jesus is, falling in love with Him and His people naturally build a culture of grace.
I don’t know about you, but I long to be a person who actively loves Jesus by loving others. I want my choices to model after Jesus’, to point others towards Him and set them free, no matter how many mistakes they’ve made or how unflattering their life looks. Jesus lived a scandalously beautiful life and He’s invited you and I to be a part of it.
Jesus gave us an extravagant gift. It can never be repaid, but should be shared without reservations. This gift was not meant for display only, but to be given away.