For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people. (Titus 2:11)
God’s grace is truly marvelous and measureless. Man’s greatest problem is sin (Rom.3:23), and his greatest need is the forgiveness of sins through the grace of Almighty God (Rom.6:23). It is by grace that we are saved, as we respond in the obedience of faith (Eph.2:8). Just as faith must be active in order to be effectual (James 2:26), grace is active in behalf of those who are willing to abide by the parameters God has placed upon it. How does grace act in our behalf? Grace reaches. Through grace God has reached out to every sinner. The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men (Titus 2:11). By the offering of His only begotten Son, Jehovah extended the hand of fellowship and reconciliation to the whole world (John 3:16). Justice demands that we should die for our sins, but by His grace God intervened on our behalf and offered His Son in our stead (Rom.3:23-25). Truly, as we sometimes sing, “His grace reaches me.” Grace teaches. God’s grace demands certain things of us (Titus 2:12). Grace instructs us that there are behaviors that must be avoided. We are to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. It was because we gave into worldly lusts that we were estranged from our God in the first place (Isa.59:1-2; James 1:13-15). Grace demands that we get out of the sinning business (Rom.6:1-2). It only makes sense that one parameter of grace is to avoid the very things that caused fellowship to be severed. Grace also teaches us to embrace sobriety, godliness, and righteousness. We must learn to think properly and act appropriately. Grace beseeches. God entreats us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices (Rom.12:1). After all that God has done for us, especially in the offering of His Son, it is only logical (“reasonable”, KJV) that we serve God by giving our lives in His service. God implores us to be united in the same mind and judgment, and that there be no divisions among us (1 Cor.1:10). Jesus prayed for the unity of believers, so that the world might come to believe on him (John 17:20-21). Our Father pleads with us to be reconciled unto Him (2 Cor.5:20). Jesus makes it possible for us to be made friends with God again. The Almighty begs that we walk worthy of the vocation with which we are called (Eph.4:1). Christianity is our job (vocation); everything else is just an avocation. God entreats us that we receive not His grace in vain (2 Cor.6:1). It is possible to frustrate the grace of God (Gal.2:21). It is possible to fail of the grace of God, having once known it (Heb.12:15). We must abide by the parameters of grace that God has set so that we may continue in the riches of His grace (Acts 13:43).
“Father, thank you for reaching out to us in your grace through Jesus. Thank you for teaching us how to live as you want us to live through the example of our Lord. Help us to hold onto your grace with every fiber of our being. Help us to be gracious as you are gracious. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”