The grace of God is an incredible gift. It not only brings salvation (Titus 2:11), but it is the ongoing provision for our Christian walk.
It’s a peculiar thing about grace, however: it seems practically every Christian has their “angle” on the best way to use God’s grace—what grace is really all about.
Perhaps part of the reason for that is that grace is indeed multi-faceted. It doesn’t only bring salvation, only give Christian liberty, or only produce holiness. God uses His grace at every level in our hearts. It is the ongoing provision for every child of God.
In a recent podcast, we looked at how God’s grace is one of the key scriptural motivators of the Christian life. But how do you know if you are being motivated (or motivating others) by grace?
Well, here are four specific ways we know that the grace of God works in our hearts:
1. Produces Holiness
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;—Titus 2:1–12
The very grace that brings salvation, also teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldliness and live in a way that is honoring to God. (This truth is given in depth treatment in Grace for Godly Living, available through Striving Together Publications.)
2. Compels Service
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.—1 Peter 4:10
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.—Acts 4:32–33
What gives you the desire to serve when the natural man wants to turn inward in self-focus or self-pity? Grace.
What compels a church family to serve one another and the lost even in the unglamorous jobs of nursery care, ushering, helping in children’s classes, or providing custodial assistance? Grace.
A pastor or ministry leader can ask all they want for help (and asking is one way to prompt people to receive God’s grace), but without the grace of God at work in someone’s heart, there will be no desire to serve truly as unto the Lord.
3. Encourages Sacrifice
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.—2 Corinthians 9:6–7
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:—2 Corinthians 9:8
When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church and addressed their lack of giving, he repeatedly appealed to them to factor grace into the equation. He spoke of the manifestation of God’s grace in the Macedonian Christians; he reminded them of the other areas where God’s grace had touched their lives; and he told them that God’s grace could enable them to give cheerfully.
4. Enables Endurance
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.—2 Corinthians 12:9
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.—Hebrews 4:16
What enables a Christian to endure the difficulties of life—not just for a week or a year, but over the decades? What gives God’s people the ability to go on when their own strength is depleted?
Grace. God’s matchless, all-sufficient, ever-available grace.
We could list many more ways that grace works in our hearts than these four. Grace, in fact, is all throughout the pages of Scripture—literally from cover to cover. May it—in evident, biblical ways—be all throughout our lives and ministries as well!