When the angel came into my bedroom twenty-eight years ago and declared to me that four-word statement, I automatically embraced the grace of God. For, I was on the road to nowhere land while God was doing everything possible to grab my attention to recognize His grace in Christ Jesus.
After living a life of all sorts of misery, sin, and spiritually impoverished, I was blind to the truth of the Gospel. I started drinking whiskey while I was not yet seven years old and got involved sexually around the same age. While I never conscientiously practiced it, but I observed many voodoo ceremonies. I didn’t know much about the spiritual aspect of it. I was only intrigued by the music, the dance, and the wardrobe. Similarly, as many Christians are fascinated by a preacher/prophet prophesying, I was also curious about the “lwa” (spirit) that would take control of mainly one of the service leaders and begin to speak secrets and warnings. However, I was deeply involved in promiscuity and excessive cigarettes and marijuana smoking.
Although I was dead spiritually, God’s love and grace came through for me and saved me. Paul writes to the Ephesians, saying:
“You were made alive when you were dead in transgressions and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience; among whom we also all once lived in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Eph. 2:1-5, WEB).
God hates sin, but He loves people. He is not out to punish and condemn us. That is not how the Lord acquire His glory. His splendor lies mainly in seeing His creation hunger and thirst for Him, that they would seek to please Him in all they do. Albeit, punishment and condemnation are reserved for the end of the age judgment. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. He was the perfect and sinless man that lived on this earth about two thousand years ago. He fulfilled His mission of paying the debt humanity owed God for the original sin of Adam. Those who desire eternal life with God must receive and embrace His grace in Christ Jesus.
What is Grace
I have heard many preachers define grace as “unmerited favor.” The original Greek word is Charis. It has to do with graciousness, favor, gift, grace, pleasure, joy, and so on. In a sense, you might say that God saved you by and for His pleasure. He delights in redeeming you. He is overjoyed in your salvation. And He is equally pleased with you as you gratefully walk in the abundant grace of God to minister His love to others.
Before his eyes were opened to the grace of God in Christ Jesus, the apostle Paul used to persecute the Church. On his way to Damascus to arrest more believers, Jesus stopped him in his track, temporarily blinded him so that he could permanently see spiritually. Close to his dying days, Paul told Timothy, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:12-14, NKJV).
I never dreamed I would be a follower of Jesus. Although I had great respect for those who follow Him, I had accepted what seemed to be my lot to live a dreary life in the world. But Father God wouldn’t have that. That is why you can be reading such an article right now because God pursued me until He caught me.<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="16" max-font-size="72" height="80">You can read more in my newly published book, <strong><em>Relentlessly Pursued by God</em></strong>.