I was called something the other day that I’ve never been called before: a grace dealer. Now if you know my story that’s more than just a little ironic. Personally, I find it miraculously hilarious! Only God could transform a person from being a drug dealer (a destroyer of lives) into a grace dealer (an encourager of lives). But, I’m getting ahead of myself. What spurred our conversation was the fact that I love to pray grace into people’s lives. From my understanding of Scripture, without God’s grace we are all lost to our own devices, dysfunctions and distortions. Hence, the reason that I love to pray that God’s grace would literally invade a person’s life. Have you ever thought about what the world would be like without grace? I shiver at the thought.
Grace is a crucial component to the healing and recovery process of addicts and alcoholics. From what I surmise from reading the Bible, grace has a way of setting people free from the bondage of sin. I mean when Jesus walked among us, He embodied in fullness both the grace and truth of God (John 1:17). And this grace and truth healed and set people free because anytime grace is mixed with truth it will always encourage and empower people. It is also through Jesus that we experience the depths of God’s amazing love. I know I say this a lot, but knowing the Father’s perfect unconditional love changes everything. His love has a way of turning our divided, shallow, hardened, wounded, scarred and deceptive hearts into whole, deep, tender, healed, renewed and genuine hearts.
I mean God’s heart towards us is to let His wonderful grace rule in our lives, over and above sin (Romans 5:21). But, giving people grace can be messy business because who knows what they may do with this grace. I believe that’s why Paul admonishes us to not abuse God’s grace by using it as a license to sin (Romans 6:1,2). But, from God’s vantage point, He’s not worried. He knows what His grace can accomplish in a person’s life and He’s patient. There’s a verse that says “God’s kindness leads to repentance” (Romans 2:4) which I couldn’t agree with more. But, if you’re like me, than it’s all too easy to slip into the mindset that through judgement people will come to repentance. And though I do believe that the fear of judgement can lead people towards repentance, it will always be God’s grace that brings a person into His presence.