Good morning, everyone! Let's start with a question: How many of you have tried to earn brownie points with God? You know, doing a good deed and thinking, "Oh, that's got to put me on God's good side." Today, we will dispel the myth: that Grace can be earned or deserved.
Grace, by definition, is an unmerited favor. It's receiving goodness we didn't earn and forgiveness we don't deserve.
In the Bible, we see many examples of Grace. Think about the Prodigal Son, the thief on the Cross, or Zacchaeus in the sycamore tree. Each of them received Grace in measures they never could have earned.
The Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works so that no one can boast."
We live in a transactional world. You pay for goods and services; you work for a salary; you earn rewards points on your credit card. But Grace? It doesn't work like that. You can't swipe your card at the Heavenly Gates and expect approval.
Many people fall into the trap of "Grace Accountancy," where they think, "If I just do X, Y, and Z, God will have to bless me." But that's not how it works.
Here's where it gets challenging: Grace is free but not cheap. It cost Jesus everything. It requires us to let go of our ego, our need to earn, our need to be 'right' or 'good enough.'
In closing, let's remember that Grace is the currency of Heaven, but it's not something we can earn, trade, or accumulate. It is a free gift (no strings attached), generously given, meant to be freely received and given to others.
So, the next time you find yourself trying to earn brownie points with God, remember that Grace is already yours, freely given by a loving God who asks us to extend that same Grace to others.