Romans 3:23-24 | Romans 5:17 | Jonah 2:3-4
“Oops. I did it again.”
Guess what… People make mistakes. Sometimes they do mean things. One could even argue that doing mean things is a mistake.
Have you ever done something mean? Have you ever made a mistake that hurt someone else?
Certainly, we all have. And hopefully, you have had the opportunity to experience grace: that wonderful feeling of being treated kindly in the face of your misgiving.
Maybe your mother picked up your broken glass and told you not to worry about the mess. Or your teacher let you retake the test you forgot to study for. Perhaps an older student said, “No big deal,” after you collided in the hallway.
Grace feels good, doesn’t it?
But God’s grace goes further and deeper. Beyond forgiveness, God does the work of changing us to make us good in his eyes.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.(Romans 3:23-24 NLT)
As great as that is, his grace does not stop there. God even gives us the ability to overcome all of our faults and ultimately, even death.
But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.(Romans 5:17b NLT)
So why is it so hard for us to extend this grace to others?
Whatever the reason is, don’t be too hard on yourself–you are not the only one who finds it difficult.
Jonah found it difficult, too. God sent him to Nineveh to tell its citizens they were set up for destruction unless they changed their evil ways. When the people of Nineveh believed Jonah, God decided not to destroy them. And do you know how Jonah responded?
“Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”(Jonah 4:2b-3 NLT)
(This is the same Jonah who, just days before, God had saved from the belly of a huge fish.)
Our prayer for you is that, as you learn who God is, you will grow to be more like him: merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry, and full of his grace.
Questions for Group Discussion
- When is a time someone showed or extended grace to you?
- In the video, Mia says, “I can’t want grace for myself, and think that someone else doesn’t deserve grace when they’re wrong.” Would you agree? Why, or why not?
- Is there a difference between grace and forgiveness? If so, what is it?
- What are some other meanings of the word ‘grace’? Do these apply to God’s nature as well?
Show Some Grace: Application
Warning: this activity will seem easy until you actually carry it out.
- Write down a true story of grace (God’s or otherwise) that you have experienced, or are told by someone who experienced it.
- Find a mention of God’s grace in the Bible.
- Write down any similarities between the story and the Biblical passage.