Greetings and welcome to the Women of Prayer Devotional. We pray and hope that this devotional will be useful for you as we all grow in our spiritual walk with the Lord. You will need your bible ,a journal / notebook /diary / pens and markers. This week's topic is The Grace of God.
For a very long time, I ignorantly believed that “Grace” is a New Testament concept. I stubbornly convinced myself that it was almost as if Jesus’s death and resurrection unleashed God’s Grace on mankind for the very first time. Oh how very wrong and ignorant I was! The concept of Grace, in which Grace is the unmerited favour of God, His undeserved kindness that He shows through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the sins of the world is woven throughout the entirety of Scripture. I do not understand how I had missed it all these years, but I am sure I cannot be the only person who lived or living with this misconception.
The most clarifying scripture on this subject is John 1:17 where it says, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” Thinking logically, one would come to the conclusion that the Old Testament is about LAW and the New Testament is and out GRACE. Which to some extent that is an accurate assumption. The Old Testament is definitely “Law focused” and the New Testament is absolutely “Grace filled”, but the question is; Has God always been gracious? Or did the death of Jesus and resurrection somehow alter this? 2 Timothy 1:9 shed some valuable light on this topic, “He has saved us and called us to a Holy life, not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and Grace. The Grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time." God's grace is the foundation upon which the Gospel message is built on. Without God Grace, salvation is impossible!
As a Woman of Prayer who is a believer, this is a truth and belief I hold close to my heart. I owe my life and all that I am to the Grace of God, the sacrifice of Jesus, and the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. Before God created mankind, He knew of our need to be rescued from sin. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was NOT God’s back up plan or His last resort. EVERYTHING that happened between Adam’s first breath and Jesus’s death was part of God’s gracious plan to redeem mankind.
The concept of God's Grace in the Old Testament is evident from the very beginning.
7 Examples of Gods Grace in the Old Testament:
1. God's Grace infuses Noah’s Story.
Genesis 6:8 “But Noah found Grace in the eyes of the Lord”
Wickedness and evil were so rampant in the hearts of men that God actually regretted creating them. He was ready to wipe them out entirely but there was ONE man who was righteous, faithful and committed to walking with God. Noah was not a perfect man, he was a drunk, but yet God chose to save him and his family from destruction! That’s GRACE!
2. God's Grace endures in spite of Abraham and Sarah’s unbelief.
Genesis 12:3 “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Did you know that Abraham's fear and sense of self preservation led him to distort the truth by saying that Sarah was his sister to save himself from embarrassment? Did you know that Sarah laughed at God when God said He would give Sarah a son in her old age? And then after laughing at God she encouraged her husband to sleep with another woman to fulfil the promise? Abraham and Sarah’s lives were marked with disbelief and disobedience, yet God remained faithful to His PROMISE, that’s GRACE!
3. God's Grace for Joseph gave him strength to persevere.
Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”
As Joseph’s story unfold, it’s difficult to see God's Grace in it all; Joseph was despised by his brothers, sold into slavery, wrongly accused, left to rot in prison. But that’s not at all how Joseph saw things, he reveals his perseverance in Genesis 45:7 “But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” God used difficult and trying circumstances to position Joseph as THE SAVIOUR of his people. That’s GRACE!
4. Moses doubted God at every turn, yet God graciously guided him.
Exodus 4:13 “But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. please send someone else”.
Moses was always flawed as they come, very arrogant, stubborn and doubtful. Yet God faithfully walked with him, and as time passed, Moses learned how to faithfully obey. God used this blemished Shephard to lead the wayward sheep (His people who had given up hope) out of captivity. God chose to listen to and walk with a man who in his youth, killed another with his bare hands. That’s GRACE!!
5. The Israelites repeatedly rebelled against God, and yet he graciously rescued them.
Judges 10:16 “And he could bear Israel’s misery no longer ”.
So reading about the Israelites, I tried to count how many times they disobeyed God, broke His commands, worshipped false idols and so forth, but I lost count. Time and time they turned away from God, did whatever they wanted, lost God's protection, suffered great consequences, returned to God, and begged Him to rescue them. Over and over and over again! Sometimes there were laying consequences for their poor decisions, but God showed more Grace than was deserved (over and over again).
6. Rehab bravely asked God to save her (in spite of her past sins) and He did!
Joshua 2:11 “The Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below”.
Rehab is referred to as “the harlot” three times over in scripture. She was a prostitute a sinner unworthy of God’s Grace. But somewhere along the way, she heard tales of this God of Israel. So when the two spies sought shelter in her home, she bravely bargained her life. She confessed her belief in their God and asked for their mercy and they gave it willingly, to her and all of her family. In fact, she dwelled with the Israelites and faithfully served God the rest of her days. That’s GRACE!
7. David listed, stole, fornicated, lied and killed - yet God saw his heart and loved him.
Psalm 51:1 “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”
So ladies, I saved my favourite for last, this is honestly my favourite. David is the ultimate example of God's unmerited favour. I mean talk about GRACE! David had many many merits, and they are many! Just open up the book of Psalms and you will be astounded by how deeply he loved God. In his heart of hearts, I don’t think David ever strayed from his love for God. He just made some horrible terrible decisions along the way (we all have right?) The key is he always turned from his sin and repented and GOD FORGAVE! That’s GRACE!!!
Scriptures on Grace
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26
But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5
And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.1 Peter 5:10
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. Titus 2:11-12
A Prayer for Grace
Dear Heavenly Father, You are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, You are The King of Kings. You are my creator who has chosen me to be in a relationship with You and I humbly come before You, a highly favoured daughter of the Most High, to give You all the glory, to praise and worship You; for You have extended Grace to me. By Grace, I have been saved. Day by day, help me comprehend Your Grace more and more in my life. Give me an increase of Grace this day so I can respond to Your love by obeying Your commandments. Your love is amazing thank You my Father in heaven. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.