Does the grace of God begin and end with the sinner's prayer? Is God's grace just sufficient enough to get you into heaven and keep you out of hell? What about the life you live here on Planet Earth? Could it be that the river of God's grace abundantly flows in the life of a follower of Christ every single day of his/her life? Absolutely!
Certainly God's grace is not a license to sin. (I've heard that one a time or two.) But grace is a license. It is a license to blamelessness before the One that matters. It is a legal receipt signed by the blood of Jesus certifying that you have been made righteous. Grace is a legal license to stand at all times, justified before the Great Judge...even as the enemy accuses! God's infinite grace is a legal license to confess every sin we will ever commit and instantly be forgiven. Oh that we would know the amazing grace of God!
Grace brings freedom, because it is more powerful than sin that binds. Grace is more powerful than judgment. One who truly understands God's grace is one who keeps on walking with Jesus, even when he/she stumbles. Grace is FOR you. Judgment is AGAINST you. Grace makes you justified in God's sight and blameless before Him.
The most powerful aspect of grace is that we simply do not deserve it. Not only do we not deserve grace, but we cannot attain to it. Here's where it is powerful: God had mercy and extended grace! We don't deserve blamelessness, but we have it! We don't deserve righteousness...but we are! God did it through His Son Jesus. Jesus left His glory as God, the Son. He came down to our planet from heaven, became one of us, took upon Himself our sins, and paid the price we couldn't pay for them. The cross is all about this. Jesus Himself was sinless so through His sacrifice we are sinless!
In 2 Corinthians 2, Paul speaks of a ploy by God to keep him humble. (Of course, you and I never have that problem. Right?) This "thorn in the flesh" as Paul called it was a tremendous challenge for him. He even sought God on 3 different occasions to remove it from him. Jesus' answer to Paul was, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Don't miss what is going on here. It is not about the "thorn in the flesh." It is all about Jesus being powerful in spite of weakness! It is about God being strong in you, even though you are human and struggle. It is about acknowledging our weaknesses and through surrender allowing Him to be strong in us. Through weakness, God's power is made strong. This is grace. In our eyes we don't deserve it. However in God's eyes we do!! This is grace! Even in the midst of struggle, trial, and testing, God will move mightily through you and me. When we come to the end of self, realizing we are helpless, this is when and where God will be strong in us. This is grace. This is the unmerited favor of God. You don't deserve it and neither do I. But we have it! Walk in it! Live it! Share it!