Years ago I took a group of college kids from New Mexico State University to the ocean. Most were sons of ranchers in the high desert where water is a scarce commodity. Never had they seen water in such abundance! Overwhelmed with delight, they thrust themselves into the water, clothes and all, joyfully splashing, diving and whooping it up!
That is a picture of Gods abundant grace, which He beckons us to dive into and freely enjoy! Paul invited Timothy to jump into the middle of Gods grace in stating, "Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." (2 Tim. 2:1b)
So, how do I know whether or not I am experiencing Gods grace in my life? Here are a few indicators:
I am sensing His pleasure in a deep, personal way:
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit,
brothers. Amen." (Gal. 6:18) (See 2 Cor. 13:14)
I am careful to credit God, rather than myself, for the life changes He is affecting in me:
"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me."
(I Cor. 15:10) (See 1 Cor. 4:7; Eph. 3:7)
I am choosing not to abuse the grace of God through willful patterns of chronically sinful behavior:
"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."
(Rom. 6:1,2,14) (See Rom. 6:15; Gal. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:16; 2 Pet. 2:18,19; 1 Jn. 1:7-10; 2:1-6)
I am enjoying His restoration and renewal thorough personal knowledge of His forgiveness:
"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
. (Eph. 1:6b,7) (Psa. 32:1,2; 86:5; 130:3,4; Isa. 43:25; 55:6,7; Jer. 31:34;1 Jn.1:8-2:1)
I am extending His grace to those around me:
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you
." (Eph. 4:32) (See Lev. 25:35; Lk. 6:27-31,35; Rom. 1:7; 2 Cor. 13:14; 2 Thes. 3:18; Rev. 1:4,5)
I am engaged in getting His message of grace out to others:
"I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his powerThis grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ."
(Eph. 3:7,8b) (See Eph. 3:2)
Are you choosing to appropriate and live in His grace today?