Hidden Treasure #1-The Riches of His Grace
The holidays are over and each of us received various gifts. Gifts that we now cherish as an expression of those who love us. Gifts that remind us of the giver and that fill our hearts with gratitude because the Lord has blessed us and given us kind and loving people to share this life with.
We all know that the Bible is also a treasure trove of God’s love and that it is overflowing with gifts from Him. Treasures like eternal life, forgiveness and daily provision. All of these and more come from the generosity of the King of kings. Today, we are going to discover the hidden treasure of the Riches of His Grace.
**In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;** Ephesians 1:7
Ephesians 1 reminds us that we are redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ. Also, it reminds us that we have been forgiven for our sins (every one of them). Then, finally, it clarifies that we have both redemption and forgiveness because of the ** riches of his grace **. Not just ‘grace’, but the **riches of his grace**. The riches i.e. (-an abundance of- more than we can count or comprehend) of his grace.
Traditionally, in the new year, we each reflect on the past year and realize the good, the blessings and the challenges we experienced from January to December. For each of us, that list is different. Maybe we had health issues, or happy, unexpected surprises. Maybe we lost someone we love deeply. Or perhaps we saw a friend or relative receive the Lord as their Savior.
If each of us could play back just one month of the past year, we would see not just the highlights that stand out clearly in our memories but we would see the more subtle hand of God gently moving each of us in a certain direction.
If we look closer, we will also be able to see how many times the Lord stepped in and fixed something before we broke it. Or we might see the Lord’s hand reaching out and protecting us from some unseen evil or harm. But, if we are honest with ourselves, we would also see the mistakes that we made, that God smoothed over in spite of our personal shortcomings.
We would see all of this because grace is active every day, not just the day we met Christ at the cross. It is not poor grace that showed up just that one particular day or moment of our salvation. God’s grace is not a scarce commodity. Grace is an abundant treasure whose value cannot be measured. There is too much of it for us to ever define it fully. It is so overflowing, it will never run out. His grace is so continual and abundant, there is really nothing that happens in our life that isn’t covered by His grace.
We know from church teaching that grace is a treasure from God that is unmerited. It is undeserved because we do not deserve to have our very long list of sins forgiven forever. Because not only are they forgiven, forever by His grace, but they are also forgotten. A rich commodity that we can only get from God’s grace, because humans are rarely capable of this kind of forgiveness. The forgetting kind.
God’s grace also helps us, protects us, loves us, provides for us, and guides us every day. It helps us to keep our mouths shut when we want to complain or criticize someone. Grace makes us deaf to the criticisms of others and helps us to treat them kindly. It also strengthens us to face the days that are not going very well.
Riches of His Grace
Grace is a word that is familiar in Christian circles.
“by the grace of God”
We are saved ‘by grace’.
Both true statements. Statements that are filled with golden treasure.
Today, we all are who we are, ‘by the grace of God.’ Anything good in us is because of that grace. Any prosperity or success is by His grace.
The riches of His grace is the secret tool that each of us has available to clean up after ourselves. It is that grace that allows someone in our world to be deaf and blind to our mistakes and flaws. It is also that grace that others see us as strong Christians.
Again, grace is the key to raising grounded children and grandchildren. Our small, but earnest, efforts are multiplied by the grace that is poured out to build faith and courage into our families.
Saved by Grace
Lastly, we are ‘saved by grace.’ What a beautiful, golden phrase! We are saved ONLY because of God’s grace! There isn’t a thing in us that makes the Lord think: “now, that’s one wonderful person! I really need someone as good as him/her to tell others about me.”
We all know that reality is just the opposite. If we think back to the great patriarchs of the Old Testament, we see that Moses (a murderer), David (an adulterer and a murderer), Samson (a man that lived 100% according to his fleshly desires), Rahab (a prostitute)….were all people that the Lord used to guide a nation and fulfill HIS will.
Even in the New Testament we see Peter (an impulsive, emotional, unstable, inconsistent man) and Paul, (an angry, brutal, sadistic man who loved to see others stoned, imprisoned and tortured for their faith) are examples of the Riches of His Grace. These two men, despite their past and their present became the key men in the furtherance of the Gospel Movement that still lives on today.
By the grace of God I am what I am
Each of these Bible characters were all truly saved by grace and believed and served the one True God! And it was Paul who said in 1 Corinthians 15, ** but by the grace of God I am what I am**. Paul was fully aware of who he used to be and what the Lord was doing in his life to make him the man we read about today.
Neither were we chosen for how great we were or are, but how great we could be for HIM and because of HIS WORK in us. We are not impacted by these other characters in the Bible for the bad they did, but for the ‘RICHES OF HIS GRACE’ in them and what the Lord was able to do through them. Their stories are our own. Stories of rags to riches. The riches of his grace!
So, our first hidden treasure is the grace of God in us: the day of our salvation, and every second after. We are who we are ‘by the grace of God’ and not because of any of our own marvelous qualities. If we have a good day and get it right, it is the ‘riches of his grace’. A day of miraculous grace in us.
The hidden treasure of the riches of His grace should bring us to our knees in gratitude and is just one of the hidden treasures we will talk about in this series!!