GodReflection: Is Grace Still Amazing?
The first time I stood on the observation deck of the Edificio Italia in Sao Paulo, Brazil, I could not seem to get enough of the endless horizon of skyscrapers in one on the world’s largest cities.
The height of the structure required a change to a second elevators to reach the 46th floor at the top. I remember the pop within my ears as they adjusted to the ascent. It was the tallest building with the biggest reality view of lost people that I had ever seen. It was big.
Today, my big building fails to make the list of the top one hundred. With each of Mankind’s new Babel towers the reach extends. The current record rises one-half mile toward the sky with a total of one hundred sixty-three stories. It is today’s attraction in the city of Dubai. Even the famed Empire State Building stands only in forty-ninth place on the list of world skyscrapers.
These big buildings are mere specs of dust when compared with the two big words that dominate and compete in our world. One’s reach extends to the heavens while the other reach descends to the depths of hell.
The two big words make a consistent appearance in Holy Scripture. They seem to play a role on every page of my Bible. I could make the case that they are the two biggest words God uses on the pages of holy Scripture. Yes, these two words are in full battle mode on planet earth.
The two words present a huge contrast. One is Satan’s word. The other is God’s word.
Satan’s big word is SELF. It is the word that got him into trouble. Satan, an angel who witnessed God’s power and wanted it for self is now the present ruler of our world. He rules from the word self.
From the time of the garden couple, every sin that has ever been committed against the Holy seeps from the desire to please self. Satan’s primary weapon in his battle against God is SELF.
Although Satan’s word is big, Holy Scripture is the story of God who holds the greater power. He too has a big word.
GRACE may be God’s biggest word. I find it difficult to decide if grace or love is God’s greatest word. I see each as a synonym of the other. For it is God’s grace that allows him to share his love with his creation. At the same time, it his love that grants grace to that same creation.
Stay with me for the moment as I highlight the case for GRACE.
Grace illuminates God’s nearness. With grace God weaves his plan through creation. It is the design held in his mind even prior to the universe and to his man Adam. The Holy weaves grace from the garden to the events that place grace in a manger.
It becomes the gift of Father, Son, and Spirit, offered through the cross designed for Satan’s defeat. The grace-gift of the Son enabled the flow of his love to apply restorative grace from the Godhead to creation.
Words like light, forgiveness, wholeness, blessed, contentment, generosity, hope, holy, joy, love, pure, peace, salvation, and secure—the list can grow beyond our vocabulary—are all rooted in God’s biggest word—GRACE.
For the moment Satan encourages the world of self to build bigger and taller. He uses self to seek power, pride, privilege, and pleasure. However, what he fails to tell each self that he attempts to influence is the destination of the self-journey.
By contrast, God rules his church and eternity through grace. Unlike Satan, God does not hide its destination. It leads to a new heaven and a restored earth with the defeat of Satan. It restores relationship with the Holy even now. It leads to where Satan could never take us. Grace leads to a self that is finally fully satisfied.
No more tears. No more pain. No more suffering. No more evil. No more death. Grace escorts us into the eternal presence of love and Holy care. Grace is God’s power word to make all that is good our reality.
What do you see as God’s biggest word? Don’t you think it would have to reflect grace?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Grace—God’s Biggest Word?