Grace Upon Grace: An Exploration Of God’s Love And How To Receive It
We are created with a deep need to be loved. There are two radically different kinds of love: conditional and unconditional. Conditional love involves bargaining and there are conditions that we must meet in order to receive love from others. Such conditional living is exhausting, involving a treadmill of constant doing in order to earn and maintain love.
Unconditional love is radically different, involving a conversion of our motives. The Christian dynamic is “not that we loved God, but that he loved us,” (1 John 4:10). Unconditional love is a gift in which the initiative
is God’s — and not ours. Human love always expects something in return, yet God’s love does not. Grace is the name for God’s incredible love. God loves us because of who God is; not because of who we are or what we have done.
There is nothing we can do to earn or lose God’s grace. It is freely given. In fact, God has given us an abundance of grace. “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16). This grace is so large that “nothing can separate us from the love of God,” (Romans 8:35-39). This is astonishing, and I encourage you to pause and think about this.
Now that we have received God’s grace, what is our response? First, never let your hearts be troubled. Be confident and courageous and know that God’s favor is upon you. Second, extend grace to others. A few examples are teaching Sunday school, be involved in Christian service, give a full tithe to your church, pray for your pastor and the church, witness your faith and be engaged in the Bible daily and show compassion to the hungry.
Whenever you help the poor, incarcerated, homeless, and marginalized, you are helping our Lord. “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’” (Matthew 25:40). Go with the knowledge and confidence that God’s grace is forever upon you. Be blessed.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist under the direction of the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is concurrently in training to become a Lay Minister under the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He enjoys writing inspirational Christian blogs at ToddShupe.com and Todd-Shupe.com .